Pros & Cons of apt living.

Because everyone's apt looks this cool, right?
Because everyone’s apt looks this cool, right?

A few weeks ago, I got a survey from my apartment complex about how I liked living there. I decided to take it, because, well, there’s a few things the apartment could stand to fix. While I like my actual apartment, I felt I got screwed on some of the amenities and they make it pretty difficult to even pay the rent – they are desperate for tenants to miss the 1st of the month so they can charge them an extra $30.

I turned in the survey, and apparently it was not anonymous because I received an email from one of the 25 leasing agents randomly assigned to the office. Her email said, “How can I help your living experience here?”

I normally do not respond to this type of thing, but maybe she really could help. So I replied. I outlined my two main complaints:

  1. The monthly trash valet fee of $30 was miss-communicated to me upon signing my lease. Not only is the fee required, but the hours to actually use the trash valet are very short, and at a time when I’m not home, so I have yet to even use the service. So essentially, I’m paying $30/month to walk my trash to the dumpster.
  2. The online portal for paying rent never actually reflects my correct rent amount due. So, I can’t use the portal, because it won’t let you type in the amount you want to pay. Since rent is due on the first of the month with no excuse, I have to personally deliver a check to the leasing office on the first. If it’s a workday, I have to drive home during lunch, because the leasing office does not open until after I get to work, and they close before I get off of work.

Her response was basically an apology about the trash valet, and then asked me to log into the portal and show her what I’m seeing. Uh, how about hell no? Because I should not have to. My rent amount is in my lease, so why not set it up so it simply reflects that amount? It’s not rocket science.

And this is the joy of apartment living. Sure, I’ve thought about moving when my lease is up in September, but the truth of the matter is this: pretty much every complex is going to be the same. It might be different issues, but there’s always going to be something to bitch about when you’re living on someone else’s property.

Yes, I’ve thought about buying something to avoid these issues, but as much as I hate to admit it, there’s some perks to apartment life, especially in Texas.

For starters, I’m still cleaning up my finances after almost a year of surviving on minimum wage. I’m not in a position to provide a good down-payment at the moment, but I am rebuilding my savings for this purpose.

I’m more afraid of something going wrong. With an apartment, when something breaks, you call maintenance. Sure, it may take forever, but it’s free. In a house or a condo, you’ve got to figure that shit out, and pay for it. Yikes. I don’t have a boyfriend, or even a boy that’s a friend that lives in the area, so even a simple problem would require a handyman.

In Texas, you don’t pay income taxes, but you do pay property taxes – and it’s a lot of them. So, in some sense, it kind of works to rent. But of course, I hate handing over that monthly check to some giant corporate asshole.

And my final rant? My complex decided that NOW would be a great time to re-tile the pool. So on Saturday, when it was 94 degrees and sunny, the pool was closed. But, if I owned my own house, there’s a 99% chance I wouldn’t have a pool. So, there’s that.

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