Please help me get apartment management to actually fix my leak & mold ... now, not two weeks from now
August 20, 2011 1:00 PM Subscribe
Discovered a leak last night in the closet of my apartment (yeah, the same one
I wrote about before). The carpet is damp, and there is some mold. Stopped by the management office twice today to ensure it gets taken care of ASAP, but am not feeling super-confident that anything will happen anytime soon. Can you sanity-check my intended next step, or suggest additional actions I should take?
posted by DingoMutt to Law & Government (10 answers total)
I have had nothing but bad experiences in getting things fixed by the company that manages the complex I live in. Recently it took a week and a half to get a dead fridge replaced (apparently the first person I left a maintenance request with didn't even submit it - and that's not the first time that has happened). So now that I've discovered a leak that has made the carpet (and some shoes/clothes) in my closet wet and moldy, I feel like I need to be assertive in getting something done immediately.
Towards that end, I dropped by the management office in person to ensure a request was put in. The Property Manager is not in today so I spoke with the leasing agent, who said she would contact maintenance and call me back when she heard something. That was 5 hours ago, so I just went back and discovered that maintenace did come by while I was out, looked at the leak, and did nothing - the leasing agent said she would find out why on Monday. Instead I asked her to call him then to find out concretely what was going to happen; while she was on the phone I asked that she get him to commit to not only re-checking the leak on Monday, but actually fixing it and doing something about the moldy carpet and walls.
She did get the maintenance man to agree to this, but based on my previous experiences I'm not at all confident that it will happen. I'm ready to escalate things if need be, but obviously I would be happiest if they just did what they said they'd do on Monday - therefore, I'm thinking of writing up an email to both the leasing agent I spoke with, and the property manager, documenting our discussion from today. Does this make sense?
My letter reads something like, "Thank you for talking with me today. Due to the potential health issues and possibility for continued property damage (see enclosed pictures), I'm disapointed to know that [management company] will not address the leak and mold in my apartment today. However, I am glad that you were able to assure me that this would be completely resolved on Monday. My understanding of our discussion is that on Monday, maintenance will do [X, Y, and Z]; if I am mistaken about any of the above, please let me know." My goal with this is both to get something into writing, and to ensure that both the leasing agent and the Property Manager are aware that things need to be fixed now and not two weeks from now, while still refraining from empty I'm-calling-my-nonexistent-lawyer-right-now -style threats ...
Does this letter seem like a reasonable/useful thing to send? Are there other things I should be doing beyond this? Finally, if I do end up needing to escalate, just who should I be contacting? I have the number for the company's (remote) Resident Services hotline and will certainly involve them if need be, but are there also state licensing boards I can file a complaint with? I'm in South Carolina; is the SC Real Estate Commission (as suggested in my last question about this) likely to help? The Department of Health (for the mold issues)? Um ... the Better Business Bureau?
Again, I hope it doesn't come to needing to involve additional parties, but I would like to know who I could turn to if need be. I don't want to be the tenant from hell, but I just can't seem to get management to do anything without repeated efforts on my part. I hate this.