Eva Whitley (wouldyoueva) wrote in bad_service,
Eva Whitley

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Those who can, do, those who can't, run management companies

From the time we moved in here, this rental house has just been terrible. It's a duplex with noisy people on the other side, and our neighbor across the street is a psycho. The moving company charged me way more than the estimate, and I lost the job I moved down here to be closer to it.

I was late one time with the rent (when I was unemployed) and they sent me a lawyer letter to me after 3 days. OK, that's fine, that's their right.

Part of why I sold my house is that, being a new single parent, I did not want a lot of my free time taken up with maintenance. I thought that was the job of the landlord, who, after all, is building equity off my rent payments.

The landlord contracted with a management company to handle service calls. Here's what they've done:

The second month we lived here, a pipe cracked in the basement where my older son sleeps and hangs out. I call about it. It takes several days to get someone out here to fix it, and they tell me I can't call a plumber and bill them because they have a plumber on staff, he just needs to get to me. Meanwhile, I'm upset because I don't want my kid sleeping in a puddle in a room with electricity, and I worry about mold under the carpet. Finally they send a plumber out to fix the pipe but it takes them another week to send someone in to clean the carpet to remove the water. (I offer to rent a carpet cleaning machine and do it myself but they balk at reimbursing me.)

The garbage disposal jams, repeatedly. The first two times I wait for them to send someone out to fix it but the smell from garbage rotting in it makes me crazy. Finally, I go online to find the manual for it, and learn how to unjam. Oh, the Web site from the manufacturer notes that this is the cheapest model they sell and is more prone to jams. Having had to unjam it several times since then, I agree.

At least once a week the toilet backs up. After the first couple of time I wait for days to get them to send someone to fix it after plunging it doesn't work, I wise up and buy my own toilet snake.

A few months ago all the doorknobs started falling off. I fix the first couple, and then get annoyed because, hey, the rent here is expensive and I don't want to say I damaged the doorknobs when move out comes. (I'm a editor, not a carpenter.) I called for them to be repaired 10 days ago. They tell me someone will be here on Thursday. As of 5 PM today, no one came out. I called them and here's how the first part of the conversation went:

"Signature Management."

"Hi, I'm Eva Whitley, and I live on ---- Drive. You promised to send someone out to fix my doorknob on Thursday, and I've had someone there both yesterday and today, and no one showed up."

"Oh, we don't have any record of that. Do you know who you spoke to?"

"Um, I don't even know who I'm speaking to NOW. Don't you keep track of these things?"

The cherry on this crap sundae is that we got a notice that this house has been foreclosed and the bank sent a letter to "Occupant" saying we should be prepared to vacate as they may want to put their own tenants in. So a year after moving (and I'm still paying for it off my credit card, from the same company that bought this house), we have to go through it AGAIN, only this time I'm more alert to the moving scams. (I'm going to line up friends and a friend offered her horse trailer to move the big stuff.)

The new house we've applied to rent is being managed directly by the owners. And I'm steeling myself to be hit with bogus damage claims but I have receipts for the maintenance charges I've paid for. We didn't do a damage inventory before we moved in, but I can prove I've had a cleaning service in here on a regular basis while we've lived here, and they cleaning service is doing a heavy duty clean after we move out and I'll have a receipt for that.
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