Well, a few more things have happened and I was wondering if these recent occurrences change whether or not I can break the lease without paying the last months' rent ahead of time. This has potential to get long - so sorry. :(
Two days before Christmas (12/23/2010), I woke up to it literally raining in my apartment. The pipe to the hot water heater in the apartment above mine burst. Among other things, the water was leaking all over the circuit breaker in my hallway, two outlets, and the vanity lights in my bathroom. The water was also literally pouring out of the ceiling fan in my dining room. I was afraid to turn the light on because it might catch fire or something. There was really no serious damage beyond some papers on my glass dining room table underneath the fan. There was no evidence of the leak in my bedroom or my walk-in closet. I have video evidence of all of this.
I realized all of this around 7:30 in the morning. I called the emergency maintenance line and someone was over here within the hour. The first thing that was done was the carpet was pulled and the concrete underneath was dried. I left that day to go on vacation and came back on Sunday the 26th. The padding in the carpet was still gone, but the complex left a dehumidifier and two fans. On Monday, the carpet had padding again (and the fans were gone). By Wednesday, the dehumidifier was gone. There were still obvious (wet) water stains on the walls and ceiling.
I called the complex to see if I was entitled to having my rent comped for the month. I left a message specifically asking for a manager, asked to speak to them between 1 and 2 (my lunch break), and that I wanted to speak to them about whether or not I had to pay full rent.
By 1:30 the next day, there were no calls from the complex. I called them, and the second I said my name and asked to speak to a manager, "Oh, she didn't call you?!"
The person on the line said that she called the manager, who apparently said she would call me back, which never happened. The person also said that she would call the manager and tell her I wanted to speak to them. Fair enough. I stood by waiting for my phone to ring. 1:45 - nothing. I called them back.
"Oh, she didn't call you?!"
By this time, I was getting upset. The person said she'd e-mail the manager because it would be "easier." 1:55 - I got a call back and the person on the line said the manager got in contact with corporate on my behalf. I told them I wanted this to be resolved as soon as possible, as I didn't want to be late on whatever rent. By this time, lunch was over, so I went back to work.
Half an hour later, I got a call back. Nothing was comped because everything was taken care of in a "timely" fashion. I never spoke to a manager despite specifically asking to speak to one on multiple occasions. It was also mentioned that painters would be coming by that day.
The painters did paint the walls and ceilings. They looked good for about a day. Some stains showed back up on the walls because they weren't dry. My fiance and his parents are convinced that I'll be living in mold because the walls weren't fully dried.
That was the first thing. The second thing is the garbage problem here. I know I touched on this slightly on the previous post as well.
When I moved here in August '09, it was immaculate over here. I couldn't have asked for anything more. As time has gone on, the litter has gotten worse and worse. There have been several times I have found litter (and sometimes broken glass) on my ground floor patio. The apartment says their hands are tied because they cannot pinpoint the specific person or people doing this. There is also garbage all over the lawn and in the woods next to my apartment.
There is a large Rubbermaid trash can at the area where the mailboxes are. People can throw their junk mail into the trash can. The garbage can is not emptied out in a timely fashion. There has hardly ever been a time where I've gone there and not seen it overflowing with trash. In fact, it has gotten so stuffed on occasion that it is literally starting to split down the side.
Just this morning, I went to take my bag of trash to the dumpster. The dumpster is literally overflowing with trash. There was trash spilling over the sides. I took a picture of it with my phone. It astonishes me that the apartment has fallen to this state so quickly.
The apartment has also sent out some of their infamous memos about the garbage problem. Once they sent one about the trashcan at the mailboxes. They said that it's for junk mail only. How am I supposed to put my junk mail inside when the garbage can is literally splitting at the seams?
They also sent one about the dumpster. The garbage should be inside the dumpster only, not around the sides. How am I supposed to put my garbage in the dumpster when it hasn't been emptied in who knows how long?
Finally, most recently, maintenance has started to blow me off.
I think it was on Tuesday of this past week, the flusher on my toilet broke. The part where the toilet chain goes rusted through. I realized there was a problem that night, so I called the non-emergency line and left a message.
On Wednesday during lunch, I called to make sure they had gotten my message since I hadn't gotten any follow-up calls. The person on the phone said they put my work order in that morning. She said there was no way to tell whether or not the toilet had been fixed at that precise moment since the maintenance guys had taken all of the work orders with them on the job. Fair enough. I figured that the toilet would be good as new when I got back.
When it wasn't fixed (and I had no indication of anyone entering my apartment), I left a message saying that this was the third time that I had called about the broken toilet, and that I would appreciate if it would be fixed as soon as possible.
As of now, the toilet has not been fixed, nor has there been indication that anyone has made an attempt to do so.
So I guess, long story short, I'm going to leave this apartment either way before my lease is up. I am getting married at the end of July; the lease is up in August. We are looking at other apartments to move in together. I have looked at the lease for this apartment, and aside from reasons that the apartment could break the lease at no cost (job, military, etc.), the only other way is to give two months' notice and pay a months' rent up front.
My question - do I have a real case? My dad says I could argue "dangerous conditions" because of the water leaking all over the electrical components in the apartment. I have called the complex and asked for a manager again. I am going to ask about breaking the lease and whether or not I have to pay the full price to do so.