JET NINJIN (chibaraki) wrote in bad_service,

Descent into building management purgatory

I've been living in my current apartment building for four and a half years. Two years in I moved from a studio apartment to a one-bedroom apartment two doors down the hall. I'm quiet and I pay my rent on time... except when the management messes up and loses it.

Other vital background: My building is owned by a large management company with a main office downtown. It's meant to be run by an on-site manager. The on-site management tends to do its job for the first 3-6 months, then becomes totally incompetent. We are on our fifth on-site management team since I moved here. Two of the managers lasted less than two months.

In November I get a notice taped to my door that says I have three days to pay my overdue charges or vacate, or they'll start eviction proceedings. I go WHAT THE FUCK? because I've been paying my rent -- hell, the bank automatically pays my rent on the same day each month. According to the letter, I failed to pay the fee for my parking space and haven't been paying my utility bill. I check the utility bill, which I just got, and it has a balance of 0, so that makes no sense.

I call up the number it says to call if I have any questions. They explain that they have (without telling me) started paying the utilities themselves, so my balance will always show as zero, but that I have to send them payment for my utility bill. Okay, that explains that, I must have missed a bill at some point and not noticed since my balance said zero.

They also say that I paid my rent late sometime months back. I say this isn't possible since the rent is on automatic bill pay and it's never been late before. She says it was probably because of a holiday, and agrees to waive the fee because I never pay my rent late so clearly it was a mistake. I ask why I was informed that my rent was late via a notice that I had three days to pay or vacate. She says it's standard procedure. I say no, I've literally never heard that my rent was late before I got this notice, how am I meant to pay the late fee if no one tells me I owe the late fee before they start threatening me with eviction? She says it must have been an oversight by the on-site managers.

I also talk to her about some issues that cropped up when I moved from my old apartment to the current one, namely the fact that we never did a walkthrough inspection and that I never got a refund of my deposit or an accounting of what happened to it (so by local law they must refund me the full amount). She says to email the on-site management about it. I do.

Fast forward to Monday. There's a note on my door that says they never got my rent for December and I have three days to pay or vacate or they'll begin eviction proceedings, with a handwritten note saying to please email the on-site manager to discuss. Greeeeeat. I check with the bank and it turns out the rent check was returned to them. I've not heard that the address I was to mail it to changed. So I email them and explain, and ask for a number I can have the bank fax confirmation that it was sent on time to, or should I have the bank mail it?

Three days pass, taking us to today, and I have no answer. I also have no answer about when we can do the walkthrough inspection or when I'm getting my deposit back because the management basically ignores my emails for 2+ weeks at a time, consistently.

So I've called the corporate office that owns the building AGAIN and I'm going to give them hell, and dammit I am not paying this late fee either.
Tags: landlord shenanigans, non-internet lawyering

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