skeptic320 (skeptic320) wrote in bad_service,

Property manager suck

I don't know if this really counts as bad_service, as my roommates and I are not the ones who hired this woman, nor are we directly paying her. But she's providing a service, doing it badly and pissing me off in the process. Mods, let me know what the story is and I'll take it down if necessary.

B is our property manager; she's the person we call when we're having problems with our house so we don't have to bug the actual landlord every time the sink gets backed up. Once every three months we also have a house inspection, though not done by her, which is mostly to make sure we aren't cooking meth in the basement or setting fires or anything.

Every time she shows up at the house, she complains about something - usually "how messy it is in here!" She also likes to throw around the word "flophouse". Last time she was in she told my roommate we should get a cleaning service to come by. Uh...we're students, what in god's name makes you think we can afford that? Note that we are not knee-deep in pizza boxes and beer cans with herds of rats swarming through - we are occasionally slightly untidy, like three plates sitting on the kitchen counter and somebody's left some books in the den and we haven't dusted the mantlepiece. The first time B visited the house when my roommate and I took over the lease, she more or less barged her way into his bedroom (it wasn't our intention to hang out and chat in there, but she somehow wound up inside anyway) and lectured him about how she wanted it cleaned up. Um, excuse me, but you are not his mother, and it is not your concern if he has some laundry and his homework on the floor.

This in itself wouldn't be so bad if she weren't prone to bizarrely hyperbolic empty threats to go along with her overreactions to minutiae. She routinely declares that if a problem isn't dealt with, she'll have us evicted. This is pretty frustrating by itself - every time she's asked us to do something, we've done it, and it would be greatly appreciated if she would just *ask nicely*. However, you can't legally evict someone in less than a month unless you have evidence of actual criminal behavior, so the whole "and I want it done now or you'll be gone in two weeks flat, no second chances!" song and dance is as scary as it is pleasant to listen to.

We have asked her three times to get the carpet cleaned, and twice to have the chimneys swept. No response. If something is an actual emergency (like "B, a pipe broke and the dining room is flooding") we usually get a fairly quick answer, but that's the only thing she repsonds to at all promptly.

One roommate has a dog, which we have permission to have. The landscaper, who works directly for the landlord, complained to him that the dog wasn't being properly cleaned up after and said he wouldn't mow the lawn if there was dog crap all over it; the landlord happened to run into and talked to the roomie, who promised to take care of it, and all was well again until about two weeks later, when B called me. She said that the gardener had quit, or was threatening to quit, and the landlord was sending us written notice in the mail and if it happened again we were all (here it comes) going to be evicted. Somewhat startled, I called the landlord and asked if there was still dog crap on the lawn. He said no, everything was fine, why? So basically, B didn't get around to actually telling us about a problem until weeks after it had been solved. If the roommate and the landlord hadn't happened to meet up, we might not even have known the gardener was upset (and he's a cool guy, so we don't want him to be mad).

One good outcome of that last incident is that it's led our landlord, a generally upstanding guy, to question the exact nature of what B tells him about us. After the pipe-bursting incident required our dining room ceiling to be entirely replaced, he actually came around to the house, something he hadn't done in apparently years, and expressed pleased surprise at how nice things were inside. This leads me to suspect B has been telling him some not-entirely-true things about our housekeeping; I think he was expecting scorch marks on the wall or something.

Note that while my roommates and I are student types, we are good tenants. We don't throw loud parties. We aren't destructive of the property. When we have problems, we report them promptly and cooperate with the contractors. We have never once been late or short with the rent. The most major complaint we've had on house inspection is that once the house inspector had to chew out our least favourite roommate for letting his girlfriend smoke in his room. We have even done things that were not even slightly our responsibility, like clean out the garage after the previous tenants left it completely full of their crap. In short, there is absolutely no reason for this woman to be such a harpy towards us.

TEAL DEAR: Property manager makes ridiculous, impossible threats instead of saying "please", takes weeks to respond to anything not an immediate emergency, and gets snippy over tenants not keeping the house operating-theatre spotless.
Tags: landlord shenanigans
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