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apartment woes [Feb. 15th, 2013|11:37 am]
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[eajou]
I live in an apartment complex with on-site maintenance and everything. On Tuesday I called complaining about the smoke detector, which fell out from the ceiling and isn't working, and the washing machine being broken. They have yet to come and fix either thing, and I have been calling them about it multiple times a day since then.

They claim they will get to it and they work on emergencies first. Now, our heat isn't working. When I called the receptionist suggested that I reset the breaker myself and see if that fixes the problem, and that if not they'll get around to it whenever they come and fix the washer. Which ~might~ be today. Apparently a working smoke detector and heat is not under emergency maintenance priority.

On the laundry side of things, should I go to a laundromat and submit a bill to them since they haven't done shit to fix the washer? What should I do about the smoke detector and the heat? When I just got off the phone with her I reiterated that the smoke detector is, indeed, not working and she still said they'll get around to it whenever.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: shweetnettie13
2013-02-15 04:49 pm (UTC)

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You can attempt to submit a bill to them, but they may not pay it. Does it get really cold in the winter where you are?

I worked for a call center for a while that took calls for multiple apartment complexes for their "emergency maintenance" and 99% of them had a minimum and maximum temperature that had to be reached before it was considered an emergency. So, it may not be cold enough (as sucky as that is) for them to consider the heat being out an emergency.

Hey, maybe with your heat being broken, your pipes will freeze and burst and then it WILL become an emergency and they'll come out! /not really a bright side, I know.

I would keep pestering them. Maybe threaten to put your rent into an escrow account until the stuff is fixed?
[User Picture]From: eajou
2013-02-15 05:01 pm (UTC)

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I live in PA, but in Lancaster so we get like no weather...ever. Right now it's pretty warm out today, but we are supposed to get snow tomorrow.
[User Picture]From: eajou
2013-02-15 05:09 pm (UTC)

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Apparently they had an issue with the heat not working in some complexes a few weeks ago, because they made a Facebook update about it and asked that people tell them right away because we were expecting snow and it was "super important". Which is why I am astounded they don't care this time around, unless they like don't watch the weather or anything anymore.
[User Picture]From: shweetnettie13
2013-02-15 05:17 pm (UTC)

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I would threaten them with a call to whatever department in your city handles rental housing safety codes. These people look like a good resource: http://www.lhop.org/fhc.shtml

Or maybe talk to those folks first, and get info that you can use on your maintenance people. Like, "hi, I spoke with so and so and I'm aware that this is a major safety violation and I will report it if it's not fixed immediately." or whatever.
[User Picture]From: woodland
2013-02-15 04:51 pm (UTC)

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i'm pretty sure it's against the law over here to be in a rented property without a working smoke detector; we would class that as an emergency in our company anyway. the heating not working would depend on how cold it is where you are and if you still have hot water? the washer isn't an emergency but if it's been 4 days then they should be sending someone out by now.
i would call them every hour and just annoy them into sending someone out.
[User Picture]From: woodland
2013-02-15 04:54 pm (UTC)

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also, do you have kids? we would class a broken washer + kids an emergency.... you could tell them you have someone coming to stay for a couple days with their baby?
[User Picture]From: eajou
2013-02-15 05:02 pm (UTC)

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No kids yet, but I do have a shit ton of laundry because I let it pile up before I even attempt to do it and that's when I found out it was broken. Sadness. Laundry is my least favorite thing to do ever...I'd rather scrub the bathroom.
[User Picture]From: woodland
2013-02-15 05:05 pm (UTC)

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ha, me too, my laundry pile is taller than i am right now.
[User Picture]From: eajou
2013-02-15 05:07 pm (UTC)

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That's what it is looking like, plus SO just threw in some more clothes on top of it as "decoration" to make it look even worse just in case they show up, so they might feel guilty for taking so long.
[User Picture]From: 234_am
2013-02-15 09:21 pm (UTC)

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i'll do your laundry...if you scrub my bathroom! i love doing laundry, lol.
[User Picture]From: eajou
2013-02-15 05:05 pm (UTC)

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That's what I was thinking, because if something happens and the rental insurance finds out your smoke detector doesn't work they don't cover anything, right?

We have hot water, and it's warm outside now. But we are "supposed" to get snow tomorrow.
[User Picture]From: orionrogue
2013-02-15 05:17 pm (UTC)

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No heat + January = emergency. Same with the detector.

Laundry is not.
[User Picture]From: whitneythegreat
2013-02-15 05:19 pm (UTC)

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It is mid-February :)

Still an emergency though!
[User Picture]From: orionrogue
2013-02-15 05:35 pm (UTC)

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...I knew that. Where the hell is the year going???
[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2013-02-15 06:37 pm (UTC)

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Look up your local tenant laws regarding safe spaces/how much the space needs to be maintained/and what is a 'timely manner'---may not help you with this now but good to know, also gives you something to reference if they say heat/smoke detector isnt necessarily an emergency. Keep calling and keep pestering, squeaky wheel gets the grease.

(eta) you probably dont have a case about the laundry though as its not a necessity to living, even if you did try to "charge" them for going to a laundromat theyd probably laugh in your face. I am a canadian landlord but i doubt the US would be more forgiving.

Edited at 2013-02-15 06:38 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: snooji
2013-02-16 05:22 am (UTC)

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I don't know the details and I imagine it varies, but I believe after a certain amount of time you're allowed to fix those things yourself and deduct the cost from your rent, or something to that effect. Look it up before taking my word on it though! Also look up tenant laws and see if you can submit a claim against management. They do cost money (less than $100 where I live), but management hopefully shouldn't want to deal with that.