How can I inflict hellfire and brimstone on my apartment community

This is about my apartment community.

The staff are uniformly rude and incompetent. I have quite a shit-list against them, and don’t know what to do about it.

  • My dishwasher smokes when I run it on the long cycle. I have put in three service requests about this, and none have been followed up on. They simply don’t want to replace the dishwasher, and “electrical fire” means nothing to them.

  • Last summer, the parking lot was repaved. We were instructed to park our cars on one side of the lot the first day, and on the other side the second. The pavers did not show up on the first day. I called the office to ask where I should park my car, on the lot side that was supposed to be paved yesterday or today? They told me where to park it, and I did. The next morning, they were paving the side my car HAD been on, and my car had been towed! The girl who had told me to leave my car there snottily insisted that she didn’t remember telling me anything.

  • There is a pool. Last summer, the pool was locked at dusk. This summer, it is not. People swim and scream at 2 a.m. I call to ask why it is not locked. They insist that it is. I tell them it is not. I know the difference between people jumping the fence (such people swim quietly) and people who barge through the open gate, slamming it behind them. Surely it is ILLEGAL to leave the pool unlocked at night?

  • More than once, I have been served with nasty letters claiming that I hadn’t paid my rent, when I had.

  • Saturday a week ago, my air conditioning broke down. It was sweltering and I had no intention of waiting till Monday to get it fixed, especially since “air conditioning broken and temperatures over 80F” is on their list of valid emergency maintenance calls. So I called the maintenance pager. No response. I called the secondary pager. No response. On Sunday, when the office finally opened, I called and put in the service request. Then I went on a business trip. When I got home on Friday evening? Still not fixed. Saturday morning, I go to the office to talk to someone real. Both the girl at the desk and the manager snottily tell me that I must be wrong–it must have been fixed. Well, no it wasn’t. An hour later they send a very surly maintenance man (doesn’t he get uber-overtime for this?) over. He cuts power to my apartment without warning me (and I lost the FIRST version of this message), and fixes the air conditioning in FIVE MINUTES.

  • Noise. The walls here are like paper. There are community regulations about certain noises that are not allowed. Electric exercise equipment is not allowed. Musical instruments are not allowed. I have had a neighbor who ran on an electric treadmill, in the bedroom, for half an hour every morning at 5 a.m. The office told me they couldn’t do anything about it. Now I have a neighbor who plays an electric guitar, through the amplifier, for hours at a time in the middle of the night. They did send him a notice that did cut down on the incidents. But this morning when I went into the office to complain about the air conditioning, the girl was telling a pair of potential renters that “there is one lady who complains about her neighbors playing guitar” in a distinctly scornful way.

I happily stepped up and announced that I was the lady–then gave forth the whole story about the maintenance problems.

I would be less angry but for two things:

  1. That they have been so uniformly rude to me, a customer, when faced with their own incompetence–and never an apology or offer to make things better.

  2. That they are a member of a big national network of apartment communities (can I post the name of it here? Tell me if I can, and I will) that claims to offer “superior community service.”

HOW CAN I BURN THESE BASTARDS? I can’t let them get away with it all.

Three words: Small claims court.

Document all that you can, and sue for the max allowed in your state.

If they are national, have you gone beyond your complex office? If the problems aren’t being fixed, do as inkleberry said and document everything. Submit all repair requests in writing, maintaining a copy for your personal files.

Locate an office where the higher ups are (there may be a district office or the like). Send a letter (possibly registered mail so you have proof it was delivered) detailing your complaints - use the names of the office staff if you have them. If you don’t have their names, from now on, get their name every time you have to speak to them about a problem. CC the district/national office with that letter - but find the name of a person to send it to.

Call your local newspaper. Someone may be very interested in writing a little story about your situation, especially if it is affecting others and/or is a hazard.

And yeah, I agree: document everything.

I’m sorry this is happening to you. Home is supposed to be a place where you can relax and unwind, and it’s hard to do that when everyone in your building is stupid.

If these people are such assholes, why don’t you move? :confused:

I am moving. I still want to do something.

Off the top of my head, I’d suggest sneaking your own padlock onto the swimming pool gate at about 9 pm. By the time your dickless landlords get around to calling Maintenance to cut it off, it’ll be too late to swim.

Also, you can leave little “gifts” at the rental office door. I lived in a complex where they didn’t bother cleaning up the garbage from the little grassy area in front of my place, so I collected all the beer cans, dog shit, etc. in a plastic bag and dumped it on the welcome mat at the rental office, coincidentally (or not!) just before a prospective renter showed up for a tour.

Make absolutely sure that when you move out, you take detailed pictures and/or video of the place, showing that you left it spotless. Then, when they withhold all of your deposit, they get to meet the Honorable Small Claims Court Judge. Some states allow triple damages if you can show that they were unreasonable in withholding the deposit.

Before you move out, buy several 20-pound bags of sugar. Then, buy a few hundred crickets from the pet store. Take off all your lightswitch and electrical outlet plates. In every wall space that you can, pour about 5 pounds of sugar into the wall, chased down with a few dozen crickets.

I understand that crickets also like oatmeal and cat food. Do whatever feels best.

In Oregon, the managers have 7 days from reciept of a written repair request to get the repair done.

Find out the laws in your state, and report them to the better business bureau


Couldn’t you hire your own repairman for the dishwasher, and deduct the cost from your rent? Make sure you save the receipts and everything.


I would speak to a lawyer about setting up an escrow account into which you’d pay your rent until your compaints have been addressed.

In Chicago, IIRC, this was considered an acceptable remedy both by our lease and by the City of Chicago. As many people have said, however, document, document, document. And, if you go this route, make sure you very explicitly state the reason your next rent payment is light (along with copies of your repair requests, and the repair bill you paid yourself).