My property management company is bloody awful! (long)

My property management company (hereinafter abbreviated as PMC) has sucked since day one, but some recent bullshit really has me steamed:

My lease renews at the end of this month. They contacted me well in advance – about two months ago – about the renewal addendum, and they have had the paperwork and my additional security deposit money for about a month and a half. All should be well for another year, right?

A week ago today, I checked my mail when I got home from work and found a bill from the water company. That surprised me, because I already had a quarterly bill from them that’s due at the end of this month. Imagine my even greater suprise to open the bill, and see that it was marked “final”! With a nice little “payment of this bill will close your account, thanks for being a great customer” message and everything. Their office was closed, so I called Monday morning: it turns out that the PMC had transferred the account out of my name, and into the name of the woman who owns my house. Without a word to me! :mad: I immediately called the PMC, told the receptionist what had happened, and asked for an explanation. She took my information and told me someone would get back to me.

Two days later I still hadn’t heard from the PMC, so I called again. The receptionist talked with someone, and came back on the line saying it had been a mistake and they apologized. I explained that the water company had told me there would be a $24 “service fee” to switch the account back into my name, and the receptionist said the PMC would contact the water company and take care of it. Fine. A minor pain the butt, but fine.

But then a woman from the PMC called me yesterday at lunchtime, and asked if I’d been back in touch with the water company yet. I told her that the receptionist said they would be taking care of it, and she said, “The water company won’t let us switch it back into your name. You have to call them and do that yourself.” (So they can switch the account out of my name without my permission, but can’t switch it into my name without my permission??) Then she says, “We got all of the other utilities switched back into your name, but you have to call the water people.”

Me: “Other utilities? Who else did this happen with??”

PMC Lady: “The power company, and … um … yeah, you don’t have gas service, so just the power company.”


Ok. So they’ve corrected the issue with the power company (though I’m going to check my account status with them as soon as I get the chance), but there’s still this water thing.

Me: “But, I’ll get charged a $24 service fee to have the account switched back into my name.”

After challenging me about that and ultimately realizing that I’m correct, what does she reply? “Well, submit that bill with your rent check, and we’ll see what we can do about reimbursing you.”

WE’LL SEE WHAT WE CAN DO?!?! :mad: :mad: :mad:

I told her I really wasn’t about to be stuck with a $24 charge for their mistake, and she had the fucking nerve to get all patronizing with me. The charge isn’t going to show up until the next quarterly bill, which means I have to get into this whole thing AGAIN in November and make sure that I get reimbursed for their fucking mistake. (And before anyone suggests that I simply short the next rent check by $24, that could get me evicted – I think it’s even illegal.)

This is the worst that things have ever been with the PMC, but I’ve had problems since day one:[ul][li]Before I even moved in they argued with me about having the place painted. We finally reached a compromise.[/li][li]The previous tenants left the house in horrible shape, and it took weeks of nagging for the move-in maintenance list to be completed.[/li][li]I was told there would be semi-annual property inspections: I’ve had one inspection, and I’d been living in the house for two years already.[/li][li]Every time I’ve sent an e-mail or called about something (which hasn’t been very often), I have had to follow up at least once before getting a response.[/li][li]When my first lease term was up, they never contacted me about renewing: I finally called them 3 weeks before the lease was due to expire (I didn’t call sooner because I’d been dealing with a dying pet).[/li][li]There are exterior issues with the house that the homeowner’s association has been trying to get them to fix since last year (which doesn’t really affect me, but is another example of how horrible this PMC is).[/ul][/li]Luckily, I wasn’t planning to renew my lease again next year anyway: I’m moving out next summer, and there’s no way in hell I’ll ever rent from them again. In fact, the minute I get my security deposit back I’m going to the local messageboard that I’m a member of and posting a warning in the real estate forum (but not before I get my check, to avoid any retributional withholding of funds).

I will also keep this experience in mind for next year, as I get ready to move out, so that I can keep on top of any accounts that might get changed without anyone fucking telling me. :dubious:

What a bunch of lazy, incompetent, condescending fuckwits. :mad:

I’m confused about something…

You agreed to sign a renewal lease and to show their appreciation they charged you an additional security deposit? Is this standard procedure where you live? I’ve never heard of that.
Too bad you didn’t know this in time to move this year. I cannot stand incompetence and it sounds like you are dealing with an entire staff of incompetent people.

Sorry, I should have clarified that part: the rent went up 4%, and I gave them a check equal to the amount of the increase so that my security deposit equals my monthly rent. I’ve never had to do that in apartments, but both times the PMC has told me that they’re required to maintain a security deposit that is equal to my current rent (required by whom, og only knows). It’s only been about $60 each time, so I figure the more I can get back when I move out, the better.

The incompetence has been long-running, I just didn’t realize the degree until this week. But I wouldn’t have been able to afford to move this year, anyway. Luckily, the house itself is fine (and I like the neighborhood, etc.), and I don’t have to deal with the PMC very often – it’s just that when I do have to deal with them, they suck.

Yeah, unfortunately it does seem to be the entire staff. It’s like they all get trained to do the absolute bare minimum or something.

Thanks for the reply: the OP was a big “I’ll feel better once I rant and rave about this a little” thing, but it’s still nice to get sympathy. :wink:

Is there any way you could contact the owner and let him/her know that the PMC is doing a really shitty job of managing her property? If nothing else, the lack of inspections means that problems could easily escalate over a long period of time without anyone being aware, assuming a hypothetical tenant (not you, obviously; you seem to care) doesn’t bother to mention it to the PMC. That would be my first avenue of exploration.

I sympathize with your aggravation. Good luck getting it all resolved with a minimum of further annoyance!

Unfortunately, no: she’s with the State Department overseas, and I don’t have any contact information for her. When she comes back next year, though, I’m sending her a letter suggesting that she not use this company again if she gets sent overseas in the future.

Got home a little while ago, and what’s in my mail? A letter from the PMC saying that I must pay them $29.50 for the water bill that was in the homeowner’s name from 8/1-8/11. A copy of the bill is enclosed, and there is not a single fucking word in the letter acknowledging that this was their fault. I get “be advised that utilities are the tenant’s responsibility and must be placed in your name.”

$29.50 is a little high for 11 days of water (considering that my quarterly charges usually run around $35), so I look at the bill: lo and behold, it includes the $24.00 “account charge” for switching the account into the homeowner’s name. No way in fucking HELL am I paying that. I’ll pay the $5.50 that was actually charged for the water, but now they’re expecting me to pay for their mistake twice? I am so fucking angry that I’m going to the office tomorrow after my 10am meeting instead of just calling them.

This is fucking bullshit. :mad:

IANAL, but I would also suggest you check the fine print of your local laws regarding rent deposits. Not your contract, the law. I suspect you’ll find that deposits must be kept in an interest-bearing account, and interest accrued over the past few years should cover most if not all of the 4% rent increase. If that is the law in your jurisdiction, and they try and tell you that your money is not in an interest bearing account, you can politely suggest that they suck up the difference or you’ll report them.


Virginia code - Security Deposits
Maryland code - Security Deposits

Good luck.

Yeah, I know about the security deposit stuff, thanks (I’ve rented in this state before). I have no beef with the security deposit money, and will deal with getting it back when the time comes. Right now, I’m dealing with being charged for fees that they incurred. Grrr. I’m in meetings all morning, but will go to the PMC office as soon as I can today.

Funny enough, the property managers on my current condo when I moved in were actually named PMC.

Coincidentally (or not) they sucked ass, too.

Yep. That’s a utility company thing, though. Your PMC has nothing to do with that litle rule. Our local power service is forever switching properties out of tenant’s names and into ours (without either party’s permission), just for the hell of it. I have to call the tenants and ask them to call the power co. The “permission” rule doesn’t apply if you are a PMC, apparently.

Update: I finally sent an e-mail to the property manager (who wasn’t in the office when I went there), and got a quick phone call apologizing and finding out how I want to handle the $24 that they’ll owe me in November. That’s what I’m talking about.

I don’t mind so much that a mistake was made – shit happens – it’s the attitude from the office staff that I’ve been getting in the course of fixing said mistake that has me glad I’m moving next summer.

Yeah, I know. I even sort of get that I can be made not responsible for a bill without my permission, but can’t be made responsible for a bill without my permission – if I had to pick one permission to require, that would be the one I’d go with. But it still seems ridiculous to me that any account in my name can be changed in any way without my ok. Especially a utility: those accounts can affect my credit! :eek: