Posts tagged apartment manager

Clean up and abandonment

tshirt

Thanks shirt.woot.com!

This is a story that began one-and-a-half years ago. I chose today’s topic because of what I’m wearing.

You may remember The Rent is Too Damn High party. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you understand why I identified with name of the party, if not its champion, Jimmy McMillan’s, ideology.

One of my favorite websites, woot.com, offered a T-shirt that was made for me. I bought it in the midst of my house hunt, and swore to wear it on the day I left my apartment for good.

I wore the T-shirt on the day I finally turned over the keys on an apartment I had lived in for eight years.

You may note I’m wearing a winter coat in that photo. It was New Year’s Eve 2010. I took that photo inside my new house, already anticipating this particular blog post.

temp and time

It was a cold and snowy winter.

new blinds

I even replaced the blinds in my bedroom with new ones from Walmart. They cost less than $10. The originals were extremely dusty.

I spent quite a bit of time cleaning my apartment. I was so worried they wouldn’t give me my full deposit because something was dirty.

I had felt so taken advantage of by Goldmark that I didn’t want to give them any reason to keep any of my money. I cleaned every square inch, including the walls.

I hired my own carpet cleaner because they were going to take $100 out of my deposit to hire one for me. I vowed to find a carpet cleaner for cheaper than that.

Remember the note I posted in this post?

On the Spot Carpet Cleaning actually cleaned my carpets for less than they had quoted because my carpets were so clean to begin with. I believe I paid $60. Read the rest of this entry »

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Build balconies while the sun shines

I told you there’d be a sequel to The latest in incompentence. This is it. However, this will be turn into a series quickly.

Some of the apartment-dwellers on the north side of my apartment building must be very frustrated. We are now coming up on a month that these people haven’t been able to use their balcony, while others have had their new balcony for weeks.

Balconies in progress

A job unfinished. New balcony on top, unfinished balcony below.

I don’t know what the deal is. I know there was issues with the weather. There was a blizzard just as the contractors got to work on that bottom balcony. However, you can see that the weather was gorgeous today… as it was yesterday.

Latest note

My side of the building got a new shot of hope. Yes, the project would begin again, meaning our balconies were soon on the way to the dumpster in favor of flashy newness.

Old balconies

The south side of the building. Waiting for new balconies.

But November 1 came and went. As did November 2. What is going on here? Are the apartment managers choosing the cheapest quotes for balcony building contractors — and therefore getting the worst service? What does that say for the quality of work we’ll be receiving?

I believe the apartment managers must’ve gone with the cheapest quote for snow removal, and that service has been horrible. In the aftermath of the blizzard I mentioned above, they never moved an ounce of snow. They simply waited for it to melt.

Current balcony

Sure, there are worse balconies out there. But what kind of standard is that?

I told you at the top of this post that this story would become a series. I plan to post an update when my balcony is new and safe. We’ll see how long it takes.

Close up

An up-close look at the deteriorated balcony.

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Realizing the rules have changed

First, I need to set the scene. I’m wearing a cardigan with multi-colored stripes. So multi-colored that I will only name three: olive green, salmon and sky blue. And I’m wearing a long jean skirt with sandals.

It is raining outside, so I’m carrying an umbrella. It’s the umbrella I got free from Vogue when I signed up for a subscription. It is a pretty royal blue-red-cream plaid pattern. While quite chic, it does not match my outfit.

I feel I look pretty clownish. Not a big deal, but worth noting.

It is September 2nd. I realize I’ve forgotten to pay my rent. Luckily, I have until noon on the 2nd day of the month to get my rent check in. I leave work early for lunch.

In some careful maneuvering, I get out of my car, jean skirt, umbrella, sandals and all, and walk up to the rent drop-off. I see a sign that says, “Your rent is now late. Please add $40 to your check. Thanks!”

I know this isn’t true because it’s only about 11:40 a.m. I figure they put the sign out early, and head inside to state my case.

“The sign says my rent is late, but it’s not because I have until noon on the 2nd day of the month,” I say.

The girl behind the desk says, “What?”

“My rent isn’t late yet.”

“You have to pay it on the first,” she says.

“No, the sign on the wall says I have until noon on the second.”

“What sign?” says girl in the next room, but with a major glassless window-like opening.

“The sign on the wall says we have until noon on the second of the month. It’s the second, and it’s not noon,” I plead. Then I realize. It was probably a year ago since I saw that sign. The rules have changed.

“Per your lease, rent is due on the first of the month. It’s the same for everybody,” next room girl says.

I am just livid. I don’t have my lease with me at that moment. My rent check is already written out. My purse is in my car. It’s raining outside. My umbrella is perched on my shoulder, surely framing my face like a halo.

Here’s what’s going through my head, “If I swear at them right now, if I really go off, can they call the police? Could they get me for harrassment? What if I just don’t pay the $40? What if I refuse to pay? What would happen?”

I take my check, and slam it down on the desk. “I am so…” and muffle the rest, as I turn. (It was going to be ‘flipping peed off,’ for the curious.)

As I open the door, girl in the next room sings out, “Have a nice day!” Smiley face, smiley face.

That’s when my umbrella gets caught in the door. I keep walking forward in the rain, refusing to turn around, as my arm reaches back over my shoulder, my umbrella holding me back. I shake it free, in grand form.

In discussing with friends later, I told them I now realize how Steven Slater-like incidents happen.

They change the rules, and don’t put up a new sign. How is that okay?

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Waiting to leap

Today at 5:00 p.m. would be my deadline. For me to be out of this apartment at the end of my six-month lease, I would have had to give my 60-day notice today.

Now, let’s be serious. A 60-day notice is just ridiculous. They require it because they know it’s nearly impossible. You’ll just be forced to pay for an extra month in many cases. So, if I’m able to give my 60-day notice at the end of September, that would mean I’ll be out of here at the end of November, and will have to pay an extra $75 during that month. It’s robbery.

However, the good news is that I’ve been pre-qualified for a home loan, and I’ve been looking at houses. It’s been quite up-and-down emotions-wise these past couple weeks. I’m about ready to jump on the first house I like. I darn near put an offer on a house yesterday, but I have to admit I’m glad some well-meaning loved ones put some sense in my head. To pay an extra $75 in November will have been worth it if I find a house that’s just right.

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Snow: The clean-up

The parking lot snow removal crew finally came around before 10:00 p.m. last night. As you can see, they left quite a bit of snow behind for us to shovel. Luckily, I bought a 2006 Subaru Outback last year. If I really needed to get somewhere I could’ve, even before they so valiantly cleaned the lot.

My garage is the one to the left of the one with the open door. That man is not shoveling my snow, by the way.

Last winter was a truly horrible winter. Makes this one look like child’s play so far. I quickly become very angry with the way our apartment managers handled snow removal.

The snow plows would gather all the snow into one spot in the lot, and then move it away. Sounds like a good plan. Thing is, that one spot would be right in front of my garage and the garages on either side of me. Still, seems like the snow’s gotta go someplace right? However, we were the only three people who actually used our garages day in and day out!

One day, I yelled at one of the snow plow operators. I said, “Why do you always put the snow in front of my garage?!?”

He said, “How are we supposed to know which garages people use?”

I pointed to all the garages. It was apparant which garages are used by the fact that only our three had snow shoveled away on front of them. The rest had a winter’s worth of accumulated snow packed in front of their doors.

I think if there weren’t witnesses, he might have hurt me.

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Calling the manager vs. calling the cops

I hate calling the cops.

One reason — though not the most important reason — is that it’s hard not to feel like a nag and a tattletale. Even though police will always tell you to call them rather than take matters into your own hands, they still sound annoyed when you call with a noise complaint.

The bigger reason is that the cops often don’t catch the perps in the act. Either the police pull up to the front of the building and all the loud underage drinkers scatter, or the police knock on their door and nobody answers.

My next door neighbors are not as bad as the previous ones. Instead of standing on their balcony and yelling at cars in the street, the new neighbors’ noise is a constant drone. For two weeks now, they’ve had people over every single night. Some nights, it’s probably an extra three to five people. Some nights, it’s as many at 20 people. They don’t even play loud music late at night. But I can hear all of them talking at the same time even in my bedroom. Sometimes they’ll go out on their balcony — where I can hear them even better — and continue to talk at the same time. Plus, I think they wrestle.

So how do you call the cops when what you’re hearing is a constant annoying not-really-white-noise noise? The cops will show up and be annoyed. So I called the apartment manager this week and left a message. I told them that my neighbors have people over every single night. Just before I called, one of them either fell to the floor or against the wall so hard that it shook stuff in my apartment. I reminded the apartment managers that the lease says “no parties.”

The night after I called, my neighbors had another party. Either they weren’t warned by the managers, or they just didn’t care.

These kids are in college. I did the same thing back then. But nowadays I work at 8:00 a.m., Monday through Friday. I can’t put up with this crap.

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Think she got fired later on

In the middle of last month, I had something happen to me that was so crazy and perfect that I can’t even believe it.

First, a little background information. My apartment managers decided to finally get the the parking lot fixed. Finally! However, that meant a few of us wouldn’t be able to use our garages (that we pay $50/month for) for “at least” two weeks. Just as the work was starting, I asked my apartment managers if I could pay half the garage rent ($25) for that month, since I wouldn’t be able to use my garage for half the month. The snotty little girl said, “I can ask, but I’m pretty sure my boss will say no. But I can ask.” I left my work number with her to give me the answer. Of course, she called me at home to leave a message on my answering machine to tell me no.

The work on the parking lot took longer than two weeks, of course. It was at the end of three weeks when my apartment people put up a sign saying we could start using our garages on Saturday.
(Note the ridiculous use of exclamation points. These people are idiots.)

The sign about the parking lot

On that fateful Saturday, my car was parked in the street from the night before.

Parking in the street for three weeks was no picnic, mind you. There are a lot of cars to park in very few spots on stupidly curved streets. One night during those three weeks, I just barely wedged myself into a too-small spot. I waited on my balcony for close to an hour for someone else to leave, so I could take their more suitable spot. When I saw someone leave, I raced to my car. But someone else got there before. So I drove around the block for another 10 minutes before someone else left.

So, as I was saying, my car was parked on the street that Saturday. When I left that day to run to the local Starbucks, it was about 2:00 p.m. I came right home, and parked in my garage for the first time in weeks! It was great! Of course, my apartment people hadn’t moved the barricades into the parking lot, but someone had pushed them to the side just far enough so vehicles could get through.

I stayed home until supper time, when I went to the grocery store. I had bought the makings for knepfla soup. When I got to my car and opened the driver side door, I noticed a note.

A little freaked out, I got in, locked the doors, and read it. It said, “We saw someone hit your car at 12:45 p.m. on Sept. 12. If they don’t leave a note, please call us,” and listed their phone number. My blood was boiling! I got out to survey the damage.

The front driver side bumper.

The front driver side bumper.

So the damage wasn’t horrible, but still! This was my first newer car, a real prize to me!

I got home, and called the number. I said, “Do you live around here?”

She said, “No, we were there looking at an apartment to rent. We live in Fargo.”

I said, “Did you see who it was? Could you give me a description of the vehicle?”

She said, “It was the apartment manager! We were there, waiting for her to show up to show us the apartment. She pulled up, and swiped right past your car! When she got out, my husband said, ‘How much damage did you do there?’ She said, ‘Oh, did you see that?'”

I couldn’t believe it!! My own apartment manager hit-and-runned my car!

I called the cops. The officer met me at my garage, after driving around the barricades. He took my report and looked at the damage. He called the wonderful lady who left the note. He said the lady also told him that the apartment manager said, “Oh, that’ll buff right out.” The officer said the damage wouldn’t buff right out, since it was through the paint and down to the plastic.

While the officer was there, the crotchety apartment maintenance man came over to tell the cop he shouldn’t be parking there because the concrete wasn’t ready yet. The officer told him there was a note hanging in the apartment saying he could drive on the concrete. After circling for a minute or so, the old man finally left. Can you believe it? Lecturing an officer.

The officer was able to eventually get a hold of the apartment manager. She told him that she didn’t have time right then and there to leave a note (to which the officer was snarky with, “You were with the people you needed to be with. You had time.”) So, she was charged and her insurance is paying for my damages.

Haven’t seen her working in the office lately. Serves her right.

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