On Saturday, Abbe Awosanya posted a video on TikTiok with the captions: “My tenant is late on rent and is avoiding me but has money to order. So I take all their packages until they pay up.”
Set to DripReport’s Sketchers song, she added: “I'm so petty.”
According to her profile, she is a realtor, Senior Manager of Operations in IT and interior designer with more than 6,000 followers.
Her video went viral, garnering 200,000 views on TikTok, and many more after it was shared on other social media platforms.
The New York landlady was slammed for her video, with one Twitter user writing: “Landlords are a menace to society.” By Sunday morning, the post had over 5.3 million views.
One comment read: “What if it's their baby's formula? They have $20 but not $800 in rent.”
Another wrote: “It's ok to be late during a pandemic, it's illegal to withhold packages.”
Replying to the comment “late rent vs a federal offense,” Awosanya wrote: “Thanks for the concern. All my mail but it's nice that y'all only care about renters like landlords don't have bills.”
She later explained that the post was a joke, and that her intention was to make a statement using the video.
In a statement to Buzzfeed News, Awosanya wrote: “Honestly, in the past, I had this issue with other tenants and I wished I could do this to them because they were blatantly ignoring me. Nothing to do with current tenants. If my tenants told me they couldn't pay, I would understand. My tenants have been late before.”
“Compassion should be for everyone because we are all going through the pandemic together,” she added.
In an April 2019 interview with Melanin People, the Brooklyn-born landlady stated that her social media channels were an outlet to help her deal with stresses as a land lady. She said, “I had a very bad tenant! I needed an outlet and drama has always been something I was into since junior high school.”