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Monetary Reimbursement from Apartment Complex


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Monetary Reimbursement from Apartment Complex
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Stroszek
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2004-06-15, 14:45

Here's the deal: I moved into my present apartment in late September of 2003. Upon moving in and filling out the move in sheet, where you write about any damages to the apartment, I noted that the roof appeared to be leaking. There was a water stain on the wall above the fireplace. As I was the first person to live in that particular apartment, I knew that it was not something that the previous resident did, but rather a physical defect.

The apartment management has had the roof "fixed" many times, and sent painters to paint the walls many times as well. I put "fixed" in quotes because every time they fixed the roof, it would leak during the next storm. One day I came home from work to find that the wall was wet from ceiling to the floor. The carpet was also wet. This went on for months... They would claim it was fixed, but it wouldn't be, painters wouldn't show up, painters would spatter paint on my belongings, etc.

This has been such a HUGE pain in the ass that I can't really adequately describe the frustrations that I have gone through.

It is nine months later, and the situation has finally been resolved (I hope). The roof has been fixed, and the painters just left. The apartment management has offered to monetarily reimburse me for the pain in the ass that I have had to deal with, and wants to know what I think is fair.

My initial thought was to take the total amount of rent that I have paid thus far ($5584.34), divide it in half (because they provided the apartment the lease promised, but not the "maintenance...with reasonable promptness" promised in the lease ($2792.17). And then multiply that amount bt 13.617%, because the room affected is 13.617% of the apartment ($380.21).

But somehow, $380.21 jsut doesn't seem like all that much for all of the shit I have had to deal with. Am I being unreasonalble? What should I ask for? What would you ask for?
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DMBand0026
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2004-06-15, 15:01

Depending on your lease agreement you may be able to sue and get a larger amount than that. It seems to me that this would be a breach of contract on their part by failing to provide adequate and timely maintenance.

If I were you, I would attempt to get at least half of your rent already paid, back. If you failed to pay your rent, they would evict you...breach of contract on your part. They failed to uphold their end of the contract (I would imagine) and therefore, they probably owe you more than that. Get ahold of the lease agreement and call a lawyer.

Come waste your time with me
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Paul
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2004-06-15, 20:33

don't go crazy... just take that 13% of the total amount and that should square things... $800 is a lot of money... do you really think that it was worth more then that? what about the $800+any damages from paint that you had to deal with?

don't forget that you have lived in this place for 9 months... you got plenty of use out of it...

where IS trumpetman??

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People really have got to stop thinking there is only one operating system, one economic system, one religion, and one business model. -EvilTwinSkippy (/.)
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Windswept
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2004-06-15, 21:15

I think $800 sounds pretty good, but only if it feels right to *you*. You are the one who has had to live with the frustration and inconvenience.

In fairness to the landlord, it sounds like they did 'try' to have it fixed. If you feel the repair efforts were not really 'quality' attempts, i.e. if it just seemed like they sent repair people to shut you up, then the case might be different.

But, if the apt. was new, it would have been to the landlord/owner's interest to have the repair done properly the first time. Repeated water damage doesn't do the apt. any good, that's for sure. So the repair efforts were probably well-intentioned.

The roof leaked at my school from the very beginning. The carpet in some classrooms would get completely soaked with every hard rain. It's the roof guys that did a sucky job during construction. They should be the ones responsible for their bad work. Same wrt your apt., it seems to me.

So, if $800 feels right to you, I'd take that and be happy. Believe me, you don't really want the stress of lawyers. Life's too short for that. Just my opinion however.
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Trumpetman
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2004-06-15, 21:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroszek
Here's the deal: I moved into my present apartment in late September of 2003. Upon moving in and filling out the move in sheet, where you write about any damages to the apartment, I noted that the roof appeared to be leaking. There was a water stain on the wall above the fireplace. As I was the first person to live in that particular apartment, I knew that it was not something that the previous resident did, but rather a physical defect.

The apartment management has had the roof "fixed" many times, and sent painters to paint the walls many times as well. I put "fixed" in quotes because every time they fixed the roof, it would leak during the next storm. One day I came home from work to find that the wall was wet from ceiling to the floor. The carpet was also wet. This went on for months... They would claim it was fixed, but it wouldn't be, painters wouldn't show up, painters would spatter paint on my belongings, etc.

This has been such a HUGE pain in the ass that I can't really adequately describe the frustrations that I have gone through.

It is nine months later, and the situation has finally been resolved (I hope). The roof has been fixed, and the painters just left. The apartment management has offered to monetarily reimburse me for the pain in the ass that I have had to deal with, and wants to know what I think is fair.

My initial thought was to take the total amount of rent that I have paid thus far ($5584.34), divide it in half (because they provided the apartment the lease promised, but not the "maintenance...with reasonable promptness" promised in the lease ($2792.17). And then multiply that amount bt 13.617%, because the room affected is 13.617% of the apartment ($380.21).

But somehow, $380.21 jsut doesn't seem like all that much for all of the shit I have had to deal with. Am I being unreasonalble? What should I ask for? What would you ask for?

From your calculations, I would guess that you pay about $600 a month for this place. You claim the maintenance was not prompt but also claim they attempted to fix it a number of times. Any court would see the number of times attemped as making reasonable effort to repair the defect. It is a nuisance as you mentioned, and they are offering to do something nice for inconveniencing you. But the reality is (unless you suddenly claim differently) that the apartment wasn't made uninhabitable. You also have to consider the fact that they had to work around the fact that you were still living there. They could have just given you notice, made you move out, and re-rented the apartment after the repairs were done.

I can assume you are on a lease. You could simply ask for your security deposit back, and a prorated period of days in which you could find another apartment since this one hasn't been satisfactory at all. Your full deposit (minus no cleaning) plus a week free is very fair and solves the problem.

The other side of the coin could be that you really like this apartment, it is priced reasonably, and you want to stay there, even with the problems. In this case, they have done the best they can, ask for something reasonable and continue to enjoy your place. The numbers you are tossing around on the low end still sound a bit high. I mean you are talking more than a half a months rent, to half of all rent paid.

Consider it this way, if you hadn't paid your rent, you are correct that they could eventually evict you. However most likely they would allow you to pay your rent and just charge you a reasonable late fee. Sure it is an inconvenience to them to wait for their money, etc. They get a nominal fee for it, but they cannot be punitive. If you got half a month's rent out of them. I would consider them very gracious and yourself very lucky.

Nick
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2004-06-15, 21:59

Nick's advice is sound, but be aware that when negotiating you should never present your best offer first. I'm sure that your landlord would be aware of this and even if your calculations are reasonable and fair (as they appear to be) you could bet your botttom dollar that the first inclination they would have, would be to make a counter offer - just to see exactly how much compensation you are willing to accept.

Just something to keep in mind.

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Stroszek
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2004-06-15, 22:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trumpetman
The numbers you are tossing around on the low end still sound a bit high. I mean you are talking more than a half a months rent, to half of all rent paid.
Perhaps I didn't make myself very clear about all of those numbers. I'm not thinking about asking them for half of all rent paid back. That was merely a step involved in the process I was using to determine what I thought was reasonable. Perhaps it would make more sense like this:
Step 1: Determine total rent paid while problem remained unfixed
Step 2: divide by two (they provided the apt, but not the maintenance, therefore fulfilling half of their obligation)
Step 3: Multiply by 13.617% (the room affected is 13.617% of the total square footage)

So: $5584.34 / 2 * .13617 = 380.21

As far as the problems go, I noted the problem when I moved in. I asked for it to be fixed. At that point, I assumed that it was fixed, because they did fix the other thing I requested to be fixed (some caulking was cracked). But since the problem resided on the roof, there was no way to verify that it was indeed fixed.

Time went by, and the weather was rather dry. There were occasional sprinkles, but no real rain.

When the rain began again, it became apparant that the problem was not fixed. I literally came home from work one day to see that water had run all the way down the wall. The carpet was wet, the wall was wet, it was bad enough that I put a dish ont he floor to try to catch the water to at least keep it from ending up in the apartment below mine. This was in either November or December. I don't remember off of the top of my head, and I don't feel like looking it up.

I went to the apartment office and told them about the problem (the water, and the stain on the wall). They told me that they would send a roofer up there to fix the problem.

Whether they did or not, I don't know. I was never home when they were there because I went to work before the leasing office opened, and got home after it closed. Evertime that I had to talk to them, i had to either call them, go home during my lunch, be late to work, or put it off until the weekend when I would be home. But they never sent a painter to pain the water stain.

A week later, I went down there, and asked them about it. I reminded them where the stain was. They said that they would send a painter. They did. The painter left without painting. He claimed that he could not see a stain. Now, this stain went from the ceiling to the floor. It was about a foot and a half wide at the ceiling, and about six inches wide at the floor. We aren't talking about a little stain. After I went down there and complained again, and them brought the manager to my apartment to point out the stain, they sent another painter. The painter returned, and painted the stain.

The next time it rained, the rook leaked again. Only this time in more than one place. The leaking was actually worse than it was before the roof was "fixed." I went and complained again, and they sent roofers again. Painters never came, so I went down to inquire about that, and they sent painters. Te painters painted over a single stain, dripped paint all over things, and then left. I went down to complain, put post it notes on the wall to point to all of the stains since the painter is aparently unable to find them himself, and they sent painters again.

This went on evertime there was a heavy rain.

This past time, the roofer aparently fixed the roof, because it hasn't leaked since, I asked that they send a painter to paint over the water stains while I was on vacation (last week) so that I wouldn't have to smell the fumes. While I was gone, they were also supposed to send someone to clear up another maintenance issue.

I went to the leasing office the day before my trip to confirm that someone was supposed to fix my apartment. I was told that they would be there the afternoon of the day I left for my trip.

I came home from my vacation to find that no painter had been in my apartment. Furthermore, when the maintenance person had been in there fixing the other issue, they left a complete mess.

I know that the problem here lies with the contrators that the complex uses, and not with the management personnel, but the way that I see it is that the management should make sure that maintenance needs are handled, and if the current contractors cannot accomplish the job (which they apparently couldn't) to find someone who can.

What's the point of this long post (possible my longest ever)? I don't think that I am being a drama queen here. This went on for months. It was months before the problem was ever even addressed. The people who were supposed to fix things either did not show up when they were supposed to, or performed below standard work.

Trumpetman, you suggest that I move. Quite frankly, I am going to move. My lease is up at the end of September, and I am not going to renew it. Because of the problems I have experienced, and because I plan on moving in with my boyfriend, and the current apartment is not large enough for our stuff. But when it comes down to it, I do not have the time to go about moving right now.

By the way, for the record, my rent is $670 a month. I know that the total rent that I said I have paid does not divide evenly, but it includes prorated rent for the first month, as well as only half of the sun for this month, since the problem was fixed half way through the month...
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Windswept
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2004-06-15, 22:39

But the situation is that he chose to rent a nice new apartment in which he could feel good about entertaining friends. No need to be embarrassed about worn carpeting or other cosmetic flaws, because it was brand new.

He could have rented something older and less expensive. But the assumption of 'newness' includes the supposition that everything is fresh and nice. He's paying for that quality of newness.

As it turned out, for months he could never be sure that if he had guests for dinner and it happened to rain that week or that night, that the wall wouldn't be stained and the carpet wouldn't be wet. That this dragged on for months, even with repair attempts, says to me that $800 would be reasonable to compensate for the frustration of constantly having a problem to deal with in what was supposed to be a brand new and unsullied apartment.

Plus, I would think that the roof would have at least a year warranty from the roofers. I would imagine that it would be their money that would be offered to renters - their insurance money, possibly. So the landlord/owner wouldn't be out anything, very probably.

Edit: Oops. Oops again. Nevermind......
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Stroszek
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2004-06-15, 22:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol
But the situation is that he chose to rent a nice new apartment in which he could feel good about entertaining friends. No need to be embarrassed about worn carpeting or other cosmetic flaws, because it was brand new.
This is exactly why I moved here. The apartment I lived in before was $409 a month. But it was a piece of crap. I was embarassed to have friends over. Much less have a date over to have a nice romantic dinner.

I made the decision to move somewhere nicer and to increase my rent by more than 60% in order to not be embarassed to have people over. Did it work? No. Not at all. In fact, I have fewer people over now because I am even more embarassed of this apartment than I was of the previous one.

Do I feel like my money has been well spent? No. Not at all.
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Stroszek
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2004-06-15, 22:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol
...Edit: Oops. Change all the "he's" to "she's".
Huh? No you didn't. But for the record, I am indeed a he.
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