Why having the building you live in on the market is more stressful than it may seem.

In February, I found out that the building I’m living in is being sold. This did not come as a shock to me, as the owner lives in California and is, reportedly, broke. The property manager at the time, I’ll call him M to protect privacy, assured me that our lease was fine, and that this would likely be a seamless process.

Fast forward a couple weeks, and the owner decided to hire a completely new property manager to sell the property. This also didn’t shock me, though it has been nothing but inconvenient for me.

You see, the new property manager doesn’t seem to have any regard for my life or my schedule. My dog is not in a crate during the day, which means that he is waiting at the door when I get home from work. This would also tend to indicate that if random strangers were to walk into my house, he could very possibly run right out the door when they open it. I do not trust the new property manager, mostly on the fact that he is new (therefore I have no working relationship with him) and he does not seem to care in particular about me or my circumstances.

Due to all of this, I have been very insistent about being present for every showing of the house, of which there have been no fewer than ten. I have given this man my and David’s schedule, multiple times, and time and time again he has scheduled viewings on days when I indicated I could not be present. So far, he has mostly played by the rules of the RLTO, which means that legally I have to allow him to enter the property, either by being here to let him in, or by giving him a key (which he should have, but doesn’t — long story).

All of this was stressful enough, as somehow I am the primary contact here (likely because I moved in first and was always in contact with our old property manager, M), but now there is a greater problem that I have not been able to solve. On March 17, I took a very chilly shower. There was no laundry going, and no one was running water. An off night, I deemed it. The next night, I took another chilly shower. On March 19, I contacted the new property manager (we’ll call him W) and told him there was a problem with the water heater. He said he would have someone look at it on Friday (the 21).

On Friday, a handyman (not a plumber!) came out, looked at the water heater, turned the thermostat up one notch, to its highest setting. He stuck his hand in my shower, felt “warm” water, and said it was fine.

Let me tell you, it was not fine. That Sunday, two days later, I contacted W to tell him that the water was still not hot enough. He said we would have to wait until the following Friday (March 28) before he would send anyone out. While the water did not get hot, it is also not always ice cold – it sort of feels like pool water, which is definitely not comfortable, but not the end of the world.

On March 28, I contacted him again to let him know the water heater was still an issue. He said he spoke to a plumber and the plumber said the problem was with the water line, because of the cold weather. Now, in the week that elapsed we had many days in the 50s and 60s, not to mention the water line from the water heater to my shower does not run outside the house, nor is it below ground to my knowledge.

He told me I had to wait an ADDITIONAL week before he would contact a plumber. I tried everything, expressing my disgust and discomfort, and even citing my disability (arthritis) as a reason to make this a priority. I offered to have my rheumatologist call him, to which he said there was nothing he could do – we had to wait another week, ‘for the weather to warm up.’

Yesterday, 4/4, that week was up. I contacted W on Thursday, to let him know that the water heater was still an issue, and that it would be ideal for someone to come out on Friday, as David had the day off (and I wouldn’t have to miss any work). Last night, he responded that he still “hadn’t heard back from the plumber about his availability” and that he would hear back hopefully today, Saturday. In the meanwhile, instead of finding an available plumber, he did schedule two showings for this weekend, one today and one tomorrow, both directly in the middle of the day (11 am and 1:30 pm) so that I really can’t do anything super involved. Well, not a problem, I wanted to relax this weekend anyways, but it is still stressful to have your home on display for complete strangers to view… especially when you have no hot water and aren’t washing your hair as often as you should be!

W was here today, to show the house, and he made no mention of a plumber. He actually didn’t even speak to me, and did not thank me for accommodating him. I have vowed to email him on a daily basis to check in on the status of the plumber.

I suppose I’m writing this in part to get it off my chest, but also to explain the intense desire to own my own condo or home. When something breaks, I would like to be able to contact a repair person and have it fixed. However, that is all ‘included’ in our rent, here. It is just very unfair that we have such a lackluster person who is sealing our fate (or in my case, fate to have greasy hair and practically hyperventilate while showering!).

I do value others, and I expect that same respect and valuing in return. Right now, the property manager does not seem to value our presence at all. He is so very focused on selling this house, which is his job, but it is also his job to manage the property. When a tenant has no hot water for almost 3 weeks, that is a case of improper management. I not only feel uncomfortable on a daily basis, but I also feel disrespected. I’ve been patronized and been made to feel like a child. I have little to no control over my situation, which is ultimately frustrating considering the huge amount of action I take in other areas to make my life great (such as choosing an amazing partner, dog, and advancing my career whenever possible). Having such a shoddy housing experience has been horrible; regardless of how great a ‘deal’ we’re getting here, if I can’t feel comfortable in my own home, it’s no ‘deal’ to me. Hopefully this is resolved soon, so I can go back to long hot showers as per usual. In the meanwhile, I’m stuck here feeling very frustrated and helpless.

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~ by ladybugblogger on April 5, 2014.

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