Fortifarse (fortifarse) wrote in bad_service,

Apartment Woes - copy of a letter...

So my apartment complex very legally but a bit unethically screwed myself and my roommates over. Here is a copy of the letter I sent. Please allow me to preface this with the fact that I am fully aware that it was my and my roommate's fault for not realizing we had to give 60-day notice, I feel like a fool for not even thinking of that because, at least in my area, 30 days always seemed to be the standard from people I had spoken to in other rental situations. The company is nation wide, Equity Residential, and it's not worth giving money to in any way shape or form.

My name is [fortifarse] and I reside at [Big Mama's House] in [a city in FL]. My roomates and I recently decided not to continue living here. The rent increase was far too high and it just didn't seem worth it with the numerous issues we have had living in this community that, even to this day, have yet to be addressed. Between 8/1 and 8/4, I was in communication with [Big Mama's] Leasing Office by phone, e-mail, or in person at least once daily. It would have been more than obvious to any fairly intelligent person that, after I didn't accept the "reduced" rent increase (which they offered to me seconds before closing the office, with only 24 hours to respond and no link to voicemail,so I was unable to respond until the office opened again the next day), we were no longer interested in living in this complex. This would have been an incredible opportunity to mention, even in passing, at some point over the course of 3 days, "hey, just so you know we will be requiring a 60-day notice if you don't plan on renewing your lease", at which point we would have absolutely done so and not be in this situation. However, the Leasing Office decided to let it ride until I called and an e-mail was sent yesterday, 8/24/2011. The person I spoke to on the phone ([lady who was usually awesome]) also couldn't be bothered mentioning this when I was speaking to her directly on the phone, instead choosing to mention in an e-mail hours after the conversation that, because we didn't give sufficient notice, we would be charged an extra 9 days prorated to equal the required 60-day notice. So, quick (and not legally required) response when it benefits EQR, yet when it could potentially benefit a resident nothing is said until absolutely necessary.

I am more than aware that we are legally responsible for this fee. It was definitely spelled out in the lease and I am absolutely not disputing that. However, from an ethical standpoint, it would have taken a matter of seconds to mention this to me in the 3 days that I was communicating with the office. A simple heads up, which would certainly have been given should Gatehouse benefit from it, could have saved myself and my roommates nine days worth of rent. I am simply requesting that this charge be waived, not from a legal standpoint, but from an ethical one. It is more than obvious to me that, whether instructed to do so by corporate or done of their own volition, the staff of the Leasing Office legally, but unethically, made things as profitable as possible for themselves while still trying to maintain a facade of being "how home should feel". <-- one of their ad slogans)

"Our goal is to ensure that every resident is very satisfied" <--- another slogan
I would be very satisfied if this situation is handled ethically and EQR chooses to do the right thing. I may be contacted, with full voice mail access, at [hit me with those digits!]

I'm more dissapointed in myself for not rereading the lease the second we all decided to leave this hellhole, I really wish I had thought to check that out and not just guessed or assumed based on complexes NOT associated with EQR. That said, I do feel they had ample opportunity to have said something. Legally, I know they were not obligated, but what happened to BAFH?? If anyone has ideas of what else I can do please share. I would appreciate the "this is your own fault" comments being kept to a minimum if possible because I'm already beating myself up over that more than I probably need to and panicking about how to come up with an extra 9 days rate plus rent and security for where we are moving. I'm so stressed and love that I can vent here!!

ETA: Thanks everyone in advance, may not get to reply for a bit! Just want to reiterate that I have zero expectations from this and full awareness that I effed up hugely, just figure it doesn't hurt to ask and wanted to warn others about this company. I will be sending a letter when I move outlining every single reason I decided to not renew my lease to as many higher-ups as I possibly can, which I can also repost here if anyone is interested... (this won't be my first time mentioning these things to them either, ftr)
Tags: apartment hell, didn't read the box/sign/instructions, following rules =/= bad service, wtf service or wtf post?, you don't *always* gotta speak up
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