The Long One Where I Bitch a Lot (So, the Usual)

Monday, January 28th, 2013

They’re doing work on our apartment building again this week. This is the umpteenth time we’ve had to endure interruptions on the property and I am anxiously awaiting mikey to land a new job so we can get the hell out of the place.

I’m thrilled to be home in San Diego. I love looking out the window and seeing green trees and blue sky, spending time outdoors at farmers markets and cocktailing on patios, but I am totally not loving where I chose for us to live. I picked the place — I mean, we discussed it first, but mikey trusted my choice site-unseen, and I feel bad that it sucks.

The biggest issue is not that it’s old (I like old), it’s that it’s poorly maintained and they duped me. Total bait n’ switch.  I gave them specifics: I work at home so I need it to be quiet with few interruptions and hassles and we grow hibiscus, so we need sunlight on our patio.

The unit I saw when I toured the property was bright and airy, but ours is north-facing, so it’s dark all day long and freezing, even when its 75+ degrees out.  Mike calls it our 3rd floor basement.

We are constantly having our water turned off (6 scheduled times since we’ve moved in, once unscheduled — as in, they meant to turn it off in the next building, but turned ours off instead).

I’ve been stuck in the elevator 3 times… in the first week we lived here. And at least once a week there’s an indiscernible sticky substance on the floor.

Our patio gets literally NO sun. None. Not one sliver of sun at any time of day. So our beautiful (and not inexpensive) plants are dying. We were thrilled we could have our hibiscus back in their “natural habitat”, but instead, they’re freezing and we’re using artificial sun lamps on the patio to try to keep them alive until we can move. It’s like a plant triage out there.

You heard the horror story of our move-in, but since then, we’ve had people in and out of our unit constantly, once for smoke alarm inspection (fine, routine thing to do), but then they followed up with fire alarm testing for 3 days on the property. So all day long the fire alarms were going off every 30 minutes for 1-3 minutes straight.  And then they had to come in again to replace our fire alarms and run the testing… again.

The property does have a beautiful courtyard they are quite proud of and I like looking at it — but had I known that they landscaped 3-4 days a week right outside my window, I’d have made another choice.

I’ve had a package stolen then magically reappear in the office after I went down and raised hell about it.  They have no “sign-out” policies for packages and just let tenants wander in and out of the “delivery closet” taking whatever they want. And when you ask them about it, they say, “You signed a waiver.”  Fuck your waiver.

Just about every other day there’s a notice on our door about something or other they’re going to do between 8am and 5pm the next day.  I understand that most people don’t work at home, but seriously? EVERY OTHER DAY? 8am seems a little early, in my vast rental experience.  I mean, what about people who work at home, like me… or work nights… or go to school and don’t have class until later?  8am, really?!  Apparently, their noise and “interruptions” policy that we allegedly signed says that they are free to do whatever they want between 8am and 10pm at night.  Shouldn’t it be 10am to 8pm? Or am I unreasonable?  That’s been the policy most places I’ve lived — 9am or 10am to start making noise, 8pm-9pm to stop making noise.  The 10pm doesn’t bother me that much, but 8am is total bollocks.

Oh, and those notices always show up around 4pm, so despite them claiming “24 hour notice”, it’s more like a 16 hour notice, which is actually illegal in the state of California, but do they care? No. Of course not. And when you call the office with questions, as it says on every notice to do, they always act like they have no idea what I’m talking about.  “Oh, there’s a notice?  Let me see… I’ll ask and call you back.” and then no one ever calls.

This week, they’ve asked us to remove all the items off our patio so that they can re-stucco.  They’ve told us the “technicians” will need to enter our apartment any time between 8am and 5pm for this entire week.  So basically, fuck you if you want to take a shower or have sex or meditate or, I don’t know… work or do anything that you might not want to be interrupted during.  For the whole week. THE WHOLE WEEK.

And we’re supposed to park our cars more than 100 feet away from the building during this time. Nevermind that there is no guest parking and  we have assigned parking spaces close to the building. Where do you propose I park, Mensa?

Look, again, I realize most people don’t work from home. And that, technically, this complex is not zoned for “office space”. But I told them from day one, before I ever gave them a deposit, “I work from home, I need it to be quiet with few interruptions.” And they assured me it would be great.

Don’t even get me started on how we can’t use one of our bathrooms because the water is so hot it scalds you or that you can’t put anything in the top shelf of the dishwasher or it won’t close because they put it under the sink, which is the shallowest sink on the planet, so you can’t even fill a bottle or a pitcher under it.  And it bows when you drain your hot pasta in it.

Or how our whole place smells vaguely of mildew, since our bathroom has no window and the weakest vents of all time, so despite running the exhaust and keeping the door open and running a fan and opening windows, it always kind of smells like wet dog.

And the long Kubrickian hallways smell like hot garbage because the trash chutes are from 1971 and only fit tiny bags of trash, so people cram their garbage in there, busting the bags open, so trash and schmutz gets all over the inside of the chutes causing the hallways to reek and swarm flies — except for first thing in the morning when they pour straight bleach down there, thinking that somehow will fix the issue.

We had a beautiful home in Las Vegas. But I was miserable in that town.  Now I’m back in the city I want to be in, but our home sucks, which is where I spend 99.9% of my time.  I realize some people have no homes and this complex isn’t the worst place ever. I mean, if I were a college kid or just moving out on my own or rarely spent any time at home, this place would probably fine.

I am trying really hard to find silver linings. I want to be grateful, to be thankful.  I just want to be happy and am sick to death of complaining. I’m so over it. But I feel duped — I told these people what I expected, I expressed concern over the terrible Yelp reviews, they assured me it was wonderful… and now we’re stuck in this dump until mikey finds a new job because I can’t handle a higher rent on my own.

But as soon as he does, I will break this lease so fast, they won’t know what hit them. And they can sit on their lease-break fee.  Sue me.  Bring it on.

  • 1/28/13 11:18 Brandon Hilpert:

    In San Diego, loud construction noise is regulated by law, not your landlord. 7am to 7pm. Doesn’t matter if you signed a “waiver” you can’t waive the law.


    • 1/28/13 11:36 Joelle:

      So I guess I should be thankful they’re not starting at 7am.


  • 1/28/13 12:17 Riika:

    That really sucks, I hope you can get out of there ASAP!! :(


  • 1/28/13 14:13 monstergirlee:

    This whole situation just sucks! Gah, I’m sorry. Crossing my fingers for Mikey to get a job fast so you can get the fuck out of there! Talk about bait and switch. Wow they suck.
    monstergirlee´s last post: Family Shenanigans


    • 1/28/13 15:53 Joelle:

      thanks. :) yes, total pain in the keister!


  • 1/28/13 14:13 sizzle:

    UGH! That all sounds terrible, awful, horrible. I’m so sorry. Of course you need to vent/complain. So justified. Fingers crossed that Mikey lands a good job soon and you can move up and out of that hell hole. That wet dog smell? It’s one of the worst smells ever. It really sounds like they are very mismanaged (says the former apartment manager).
    sizzle´s last post: Being Neighborly


    • 1/28/13 15:54 Joelle:

      They claim it’s a big complex and they aren’t ultimately in charge, the property owners are, which of course, is some big conglomeration. It’s a total Monet. It may end up being $500 more a month for a nicer place, but it’s worth it!


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