I ran into one of my neighbors in the hallway today:
Jill: “I am almost done moving to my new apartment!”
Me: “Nice. I hate moving. Are you doing Rug Doctor for the carpets?”
Jill: “Rug Doctor?”
Me: “The carpet steamer.”
Jill: “God no!”
Me: “…but aren’t you cleaning your carpets?”
Me: “…but what if the building charges you?”
Jill: “Then fuck’em. I don’t care. I’ll fight that battle if I get to it.”
I wish I had this attitude to moving – the recent move would have been vastly less stressful.
I am settled into my new apartment but there are still some lingering obligations – the final energy bill from the last place, changing my address for obscure services, and the nagging feeling that my old mailbox is slowly filling up.
There is also the possibility that unexpected charges might be thrown on my old apartment’s account despite getting a verbal pass on my walk-through from the building management.
The lease stipulates that no building management employees cannot bind the company in any way, so their assurances are legally worthless.
The lease terms are so unfavorable to tenants that we are forced to rely on the goodwill of the landlord not to exercise the extreme terms.
For example: under the lease, the property can force us to get rid of our pets after a single noise complaint while keeping the pet deposit and continuing to charge pet rent.
We also have to rely on the goodwill of the landlord to keep up many of the “perks” that were promised when we moved in – the lobby happy hour, the “concierge service” at the front desk, cleaning the dog parks and pee-stained hallways, security, etc.
But guess what? None of these things are guaranteed by the lease, and the leasing agent who promised them can’t bind the building’s management company.
Last night, some of my neighbors were complaining about the declining amenities and overall maintenance of the property at the front desk. The answer was a very polite, “Well, that’s too bad. You should’ve read your contract, bye.”
As an aside – I am not sure the situation is much better given the condo association and title search horror stories I’ve heard. So owning may not be better unless you have really cool neighbors.
Perhaps the best route to go is to keep our heads down for the lease term and hope that the building goodwill lasts before things completely fall apart around here.
And if things get really bad, perhaps we’ll take Jill’s advice.