Thank you for writing back. I sent you a direct email response but did not hear back from you - perhaps that is standard given the nature of these forums. I understand that "threatening" our landlord is not a viable response to these issues: that did not enter our minds and the reason I posted the question here. But extortion? Perhaps esp since we do not know if his construction is legal or not. Certainly not a felony according to a couple of the online Legal Dictionaries I consulted: the common law of most states regard it as a misdemeanor unless it involves a public or elected official. If we are to try all means of communication with the LL would not bringing these issues up be prudent to solving them? Would it not be part of that discussion to include possible actions including legal consequences? In doing so we are not trying to extort anything from him other than to fix the problems he said he would fix. We have plenty of written documentation to this effect although there has never been a signed lease agreement being, currently, month-to-month. I talked with my brother-in-law who is a retired fireman and Fire Marshall in another state and he said having those locked gates and high fences may constitute a breach in fire safety laws, esp if it impedes our ability to evacuate the premises in an emergency. At present if there was a fire in the middle of the house, cutting off the back of the house (where our daughter's room is now) from a path through the house to exit, she only has the one back door and window as exits that go into the backyard then would have to vault over 8 ft high fences as well as be confronted with 2 locked gates. Like I have said before, these fences, locked gates and newly constructed buildings are all since we moved in, in the last couple of months. I believe in fairness and justice, and imo neither are being served here.