August 25, 2008 at 1:02 am (Apartment Living, Uncategorized) (apartment, apartment advice, Apartment Living, apartment options, apartment renting rights, bad apartment complex, bad apartment experience, legal apartment options, Renter Rights, renting)
So hey, you found out that your neighbor is a felon, his record is rape. His dog poops in front of your car every morning and pees on your tires. Driving to work would be nice, but your vehicle is damaged beyond recognition because the potholes the parking lot is sporting would make a watermelon look like a pea. There is more drug traffic than cocaine out of Cuba. All you can hear is sirens day and night from the area you live in. And that doesn’t even start on the issues your apartment is having. Your smelly carpet already was stained with substance that you’d prefer not to know the identity of. The dishwasher is broke and you submitted a repair request to maintenance 2 months ago. They are probably still laughing at your request. Tile is falling out of your shower for no good reason, the sink leaks, the walls are paper thin, and as far as your dream living experience is concerned, this is probably as close to a nightmare as it gets.
So, what do you do?
This all depends on the issues you’re having and your situation. Know now that there will always be SOME issues with an apartment complex, whether it be noise, repairs, etc. It’s how it is when many people from different walks of life gather into a small area to become buddy-buddy neighbors. If the issue is repairs, try to stick it out. Put in requests as often as possible and BE PLEASANT. You won’t be moving to the top of their repair list if you act like a great big penis on the phone giving attitude and sass. No one likes it. Ever.
If the walls are paper thin, this can happen in a lot of complexes. There is normal noise that comes with the territory. Sometimes you really will hear a neighbors get together, their TV, them having sex, them moving furniture, etc. It’s just how it is. You do have a right to peace and quiet also. If they are excessively noisy constantly, file complaints. In my apartment complex this is how it works: you call maintenance and let them know your noise issue. They must come to your apartment to witness it. If they hear it, a written warning will be given to the perps. If this happens 3 times total, they are evicted. If this makes you uncomfortable to be so forceful with it, there is also the option of calling the police to have them politely remind your neighbors that their party needs to be toned down. You could also knock on the door yourself with a friendly reminder and an apology that you know they are all having fun, but you need to work the next day and would appreciate if they toned it down a bit. Sometimes people really don’t know if they are being excessive in what they do!
If the issue doesn’t fall under these things and you know deep in your heart of hearts that you absolutely must leave, you can either stick it out the next couple of months and not renew your lease, or you can break it and pay a hefty fee. Usually apartment complexes charge about one months rent to break a lease, sometimes less, sometimes more. But if you’re tearing your hair out that much, perhaps it’s best for peace of mind to do so. If you’re feeling ambitious, let the world know that they did you wrong, and just how they managed to do that. Go to http://www.apartmentratings.com/ and find your apartment complex. Then write a report on exactly what happened and rate them. You may have suffered, but at least people can read your experience and decide if they are willing to tolerate the same thing.
If perhaps you feel absolutely in the right of leaving due to extreme negligence on behalf of the apartment complex itself but feel it’s unfair to pay the fees they request, then contacting a lawyer may be helpful. The website http://www.nolo.com/resource.cfm/catID/31250834-6A2E-4970-9EDD4DAF221A0C7E/104/138/ seems quite helpful in educating renters on their rights. To find your own specific rights, search yahoo or google by typing in “renters rights (insert your state)”. You’ll be able to solve your issue more easily this way by educating yourself.
For those further experienced in the matter, please feel free to contribute your horror stories, helpful hints, or good tips on what to do!