My Worst Apartment Ever certainly had its share of problems: high utility bills, moldy ceilings, a constant stream of noise from other apartments, drug-dealing neighbors, abandoned cars taking up parking spaces—you know, just the usual. But problems with the apartment itself paled in comparison to the criminal enterprise masquerading as the property “management” company.
They certainly put on a good show. Their leasing office was nicely decorated, and smelled like pumpkin spice. But once they got you to sign on the dotted line, all semblance of customer service disappeared. Maintenance requests went unanswered for months. When you called into inquire about the status of your request, you received one of two responses (that is, if they actually answered the phone): 1) they had no idea what you were talking about, or 2) the maintenance staff was too busy taking care of “emergency” requests to handle yours. The only quick response I ever got from them came when I threatened to call the city building inspector, which clearly sent them into panic mode, since a team of maintenance workers arrived the same day to fix the problem. And speaking of the leasing staff, I’m pretty sure McDonald’s has a lower turnover rate. Every time we went into their office to pay the rent, there was someone new, who usually had no clue how to process the rent payment and we’d be stuck there until the manager returned from her two-hour lunch break.
The final straw came about two months before we moved out. A piece of paper taped to the door (a phone call was apparently too much trouble) informed us that since we had failed to notify them more than 60 days before vacating, we would be required to pay an extra month’s rent on top of a $300 penalty. Never mind that our lease said nothing of the sort. My husband, normally a very calm person, stormed into the leasing office and got so upset his nose started bleeding. There were several prospective tenants in the office at the time, and my husband advised them in no uncertain terms that renting from this company would be a huge mistake. Fortunately, they took his advice and walked out. Keeping someone else from making the same mistake we did was definitely the highlight of that awful experience!