Screw you, Management Company!

So, the situation (that has me STEAMING mad at the moment).

Over xmas, I was out of town. My apartment flooded due to heavy rains and the apartments’ sump pump breaking down.
So, I lose a ton of books, papers, and clothes. My management company tells me, “Sorry, we’ll pay for the new carpeting, but you’re on your own for the rest.” Okay. I understand, legally, that’s that. I can live with that. I’m not pleased, but I can live with it.
Today I get a letter telling me that because of the mess in the apartment, they’re going to send someone in to inspect the place in 30 days in order to make sure it’s all cleaned up. They imply that my place is a mess (hey, I just had a flood! Surprise!) and palm all the mess / damage off on me. I’m so fucking angry with their lack of empathy on the matter that I want to punch the wall. I HAD A FLOOD. IT WAS DUE TO YOUR SHODDY SUMP PUMP. DON’T GET ON MY ASS ABOUT CLEANING UP THE DAMAGES QUICKLY.
I’ll have it done in 30 days, I’m sure. But this adding insult to injury is really, really pissing me off!

It’s probably just a form letter, sent to all similarly affected tenants, covering their asses in case you happen to be one of the slobs who won’t clean it up. Since this is not you, don’t get uptight about it.

It’s only an insult if you want to see it as an insult.

Damn, hope the books and papers you lost weren’t important/irreplaceable.

Many were. Pieces of memorobilia. Sentimental value. It’s frustrating, and so is looking at the heaps of crap I have to get out to the dumpsters.
Still, I’m over the letter now. It was the tone of the thing that frosted me. shrug. I just want this whole annoying thing to be over.

Yeah, my commiserations.

In my house, it’s not the floods, it’s my wife who keeps throwing away personal momentos. Then she wonders why we don’t seem to “have anything”. :wink:

Not to belabor the point, but that’s what renters insurance is for. To protect your stuff. Clearly the management company can’t be held responsible for what happens to your stuff within your appartment for a number of reasons.

Still sucks though.
Also, I tend not to take form letters personally…for obvious reasons.

How about you and I get married? And your wife and my husband can get married? And then we’ll get to keep our stuff and they can throw out each others’ stuff?

Yeah, still pissed at my husband throwing out my grandparents’ possessions. Sorry for the hijack, I was just thinking about finding some silk crocheted items…after the rain had soggied them up and made the colors run.

My commiserations too. I would take the letter down to the management company, and ask for some assistance in getting the place cleaned up, since it was their crappy pump that broke down.

When you say “Flood”, what do you mean? Do you live in a basement apartment and water came in through your open window? If you live on the 5th floor and water leaked in from the ceiling, that’s the landlord’s fault, not yours, IMHO. You might want to consult a lawyer.

We must have lived in houses that flooded regularly as a kid, because I get antsy about leaving anything on a basement floor (I assume since you’re talking about a sump pump that it was the basement that flooded). My sympathies for losing your stuff, ArrMatey - I guess that’s one of those things that we all learn the hard way.

Most people who rent don’t buy renters’ insurance, which is a big mistake.

If you had renters’ insurance, your ins. co. could get a cleanup company down there , cut you a check for the lost property, and fight the managers for you. You’d pay a deductible, your insurance co. would go after the managers’ company in a process called subrogation, and months after the incident you’d get a check for your deductible.

I am not in the insurance business. I just knew enough people ,back when we were all in the Navy and all renters, who got screwed by landlords/managers when pipes broke that I bought renters’ insurance and kept it in force until replacing it with homeowners’ insurance.

Also, if you have extremely valuable stuff, you can buy extra insurance “riders” on that stuff for not much extra money.

My own reaction to getting such a letter, in the supercilious tone suggested in the OP, would be:

“Sirs: I was away for an extended period during the recent unfortunate flooding at your [apartment complex name] facilities, where I rent from you. I suffered substantial loss of personal possessions, including both $X thousand in replacement value of books, furnishings, and other water-damaged possessions and the loss of mementoes of irreplaceable sentimental value to me, such as [example of something obviously of personal value, such as parents’ wedding picture]. I had understood that your stance was that tenants were responsible for their own losses, your liability being limited to fixtures that came with the apartment, and was not moved to contest this. However, your recent communication advising me of your deadline for cleaning up such damage, given that it was in whole or in part the result of your faulty sump pump system providing inadequate drainage to prevent such a flood, makes it incumbent on me to demand fair recourse for your negligence. By this letter I am demanding that you show cause why I should not institute a claim for all or part of my losses owing to your firm’s negligence in failing to prevent such flooding by providing adequate drainage and sump facilities.”

Note that you have not stated your own plans, just inquired what reasons they might advance to prevent you from certain described hypothetical steps. I predict they will send a letter of apology for the tone of the notice and an offer of partial compensation.

What about the letter has made you angry? In what way do you feel that the mess/damage has been “palmed off” on you?

This sounds like exactly what you should expect in this situation. The management company will look after damages to your suite, and you’re responsible for your possessions.

Of course they’ll need to get an inspection done ASAP – this should be common sense, when you consider how much capital is invested in the property. This is not a reflection on you - they will have restoration people come in and determine if there is standing water under the floorboards, etc. If there is a substantial amount of water ingress, they will have to take steps to remedy it to avoid very costly damage to the property.

Frankly, I’m surprised that they are waiting 30 days to do this - this seems almost irresponsible.

I know that flooding is distressing to you personally, but you can’t really expect them to: a) volunteer to take any responsibility for anything apart from damage to the property itself; or b) neglect their due diligence to determine what (if any) remedial action must be taken after a flooding incident.

If you feel that the flooding is due to negligence on their part, you might consider a civil action. On the face of it, though - it seems pretty par for the course.

Sorry about the stress.