That’s right, I have declared WAR against my apartment complex! On Friday, I posted about the terrible noise above my apartment. Well my friends, things have gotten worse.
Shortly after filing the second complaint against my neighbors, I came home from work to find a notice on my door. It was a “Friendly Reminder” to remove my patio lights, along with some plexiglass I’d installed on my patio to keep Blanche from plummeting to her death.
Umm, what? Friendly reminder? Because I’ve had the glass and the patio lights up since I moved in, in September and no one has ever said anything to me about it.
Fuming, I went to my filing cabinet to pull out my lease. After reading every little sentence, I found that the rules regarding the patio were so vague that basically the complex could say anything they wanted and you’d have to oblige. They could say, “no plants” or “no chairs” on the patio and the lease offers no protection.
So… I completely blew up. I felt like 1 of 2 things had happened here: 1. that my upstairs neighbors were pissed about the complaints and fired back something like, “Well, she’s got those stupid lights on her patio,” or 2. The complex management was trying to prove a point to me that I’m not the perfect tenant.
In a fit of rage, I called the leasing office, knowing full-well they were closed at 10 pm, and left a voicemail, screaming about how my noise complaints were valid and this “Friendly Reminder” was absolute BULLSHIT, and if “You want to start a WAR, then let the games begin!!!!”
I then took to SnapChat, Instagram, and Twitter to express my true feelings about the complex. I also logged onto Yelp.com and wrote a poor review of the complex outlining all of the negative experiences I’ve had thus far living here. And then, I went outside around 11 pm, and ripped down the lights and the plexiglass.
The following day, I got an email from the leasing manager, addressing my Yelp review, basically denying everything I said:
Good Afternoon Holly-
I wanted to take the time to address your issues with our community.
1. Mice – there are not mice in everyone’s apartment. I apologize if someone may have said that to you, but that is incorrect. We had a couple of issues with this last year because the property is located near the grassy field. We have since added traps around the buildings and haven’t heard of any issues since. If there is something we failed to complete, please let me know and I would be happy to have my Service Supervisor check. We were not aware there was a service issue that still needed to be completed.
2. Rent is due on the first, but you have until the third to make the payment. You have other options to make the payment including by certified funds or personal check. (You are not required to pay online.)
3. Our billing company, Conservice should be sending you an itemized bill every month. If you are not receiving, please let me know and I can check in with them. We pay for this service, so this bill should be mailed to you monthly. I believe you can also set up an e-bill, so it is sent electronically, but you would need to call them to verify.
4. I am truly sorry you’re neighbors have been noisy and caused a disturbance in your unit. We have contacted them and sent them a lease violation. They called about their lease violation and again stated they would keep the noise down.
5. As previously discussed, we checked our log and no one has been into your unit. We have a Keytrak system that logs this info and I can send you a picture of this report if that makes you feel more comfortable. This is the only way they are able to gain access into your unit. I also offered to have your locks changed.
6. The patio lights really aren’t a major concern, it was primarily for the plastic sheeting covering the patio rail.
I hope this information helps to clear up any confusion. We try to make our resident’s experiences as enjoyable as possible, but unfortunately sometimes there are external factors which are out of our control.
If there is anything I can to do help, please don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime.
… Riddle me this, why ON EARTH does she keep telling me to email or call her, when all she fucking does is deny, deny, deny? So, I wrote her back:
I appreciate you taking the time to address my concerns with the community, even though it is very pointless at this time to continue with the back-and-forth. I very well understand that apartment living is, in general, pretty crappy, and every complex is just trying to make the best of it.
My review on Yelp was simply that, a review of my time here. It was not stating that I currently have a mouse in my apartment, but yes, that is what I was told, and I hired outside help to take care of the things in my apartment that Alliance did not.
Honestly, I can deal with a little noise, but when it starts to affect my daily life, it gets old really quick.
The patio lights are less about patio lights and more about the demeanor of the community. I am no leasing agent or property manager expert, but when people move into places, they want to make their rented space feel like a home. The plastic sheet was simply to keep my cat from running off the balcony, but I’m sure that is no concern of anyone on the property but mine, and don’t worry, I ripped it down around 11pm last night to avoid a fine.
If the patio lights weren’t an issue, then I shouldn’t have gotten a “reminder” (when I was never told in the first place) to remove them, because I was on a ladder last night taking them down. I also noticed that several of my neighbors enjoy having patio lights on their balconies as well, and some of them are actual holiday lights (icicles in fact, right by the entrance to the complex), so it’s pretty upsetting that I was targeted and blamed, when no one else was. That’s just plain unfair.
But don’t worry, no plastic sheets, no lights, and I won’t complain about the noise anymore. And you’ll get your rent on time – I know Alliance cares about numbers. I appreciate you offering help, but it seems like all I get in return is excuses, or notes on my door.
She didn’t resond and I’m fine with that. Talking to her, or anyone on the Alliance staff, has proved to be a dead-end.
But when I got home from work on Friday, there was another note stuck in my door. Turns out, my lease is up for renewal! Great. Oddly, Alliance offers very strange lease terms – my current one was 11 months and three days.
The lease renewal offer also offered no incentive to stay – no discount on a month’s rent, no complimentary cleaning, nothing – which I’ve honestly never experienced. And the offers for the different months were randomly more and less expensive. The 9-month lease was the cheapest option, and it was still $30/month above my current rent.
The sad part of this story is that I honestly cannot afford to move. I chose this apartment because I could actually afford the rent, even though I had to giveup many “luxury” items that my apartment in Baton Rouge had. I traded my real wood and granite for access to a pool and a bigger closet.
And as a bonus, I got shitty neighbors and bitches for property managers.
It’s less about the rent, and more about the fact that in general, moving is expensive, and I’m currently spending every last dime cleaning up credit card debt from my near-year without a salary in 2015. It’s one of those moments I know I’m just going to have to suck up and sign that lease renewal.
On Saturday, I’d come to terms with it, although I don’t have to say anything to the complex until August. I do like my actual apartment, and maybe I can learn to deal with the noise above me – or maybe they will move out over the course of the next 10 months.
But on Sunday, I awoke to the immediate fear that a body would come crashing through my bedroom ceiling. When it didn’t, I looked at my phone for the time – 7:26 am. It was sunny out, with not a cloud in site.
“I’ll just get out of here, and hit the pool,” I thought.
By 10 am, I had my suit on and was ready to lounge by the pool with my wine and watermelon. I walked to the pool.
The gate was locked. And that was the day I learned that on Sundays, the Alliance pool opens at 1 pm. Because of course it does.