Recently it seems as if my life and apartment have been falling apart. Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic and nothing is in as much of a shamble as I think it to be; however, today I spent four hours crafting this email to my management company. When I sent the completed draft to my mother, she said that she laughed out loud MORE than five times. So I figured, why not share this with my masses, my Readers who seem to think that my writing is either witty or entertaining, either way, you always come back for more and I am ever so appreciative … here are a bit of choice words for management from us in apartment #1! Hopefully, it all get’s better.
Dear Office of ______________ ,
I would like to begin by stating we appreciate your efforts in repairing the issues we have been facing in our apartment these past few weeks; however, I need to convey the frustrations that have burdened us since the beginning. We are living in an unfinished apartment.
Again, while we appreciate your attempt in repairing our apartment…I must admit a lot of our frustrations come about the daily inconveniences caused by the Superintendent and “Private” Contractors that are working on our apartment. We moved into a “newly renovated” apartment that should have been completed to entirety upon move in date of December 1. If renovations/repairs were not expected to be completed by said date, notification should have been provided at lease signing.
We have not had working heat since move in. I’m sure you have been aware of the erratic winter with it’s many temperature fluctuations and yet, through it all, our apartment has not had a consistent comfortable internal temperature. The first email sent to Repairs was sent on December 3rd. Our Superintendent came in to open all of the radiators, an effort we had already made ourselves. At the time the New York City winter was pretty mild and our Superintendent promised us that the heat would probably be turned on as the temperature dropped. It wasn’t.
The email I sent on December 5th read thus: “The super did open the radiators, but we are still currently not receiving heat. As it is December 5th and 55 degrees outside, I would expect the building’s heat to be on. I’m assuming the gas line upgrades are what is affecting the heat? Please let me know if there is a certain date or temperature that the heat will not be on until and we will bundle up accordingly. Thank you again for your time.”
For a majority of December most of us were away and visiting family for the holidays. Upon return, the heat within the apartment had not changed. Since then we have had several visits from our Superintendent regarding this matter. When temperatures outside hit a low of 3 degrees not only were our radiators barely producing warmth, but our windows had iced over with ice on the inside! One morning my roommate, whose bed is against the window wall, woke up in a puddle of condensation! We approached our Superintendent again, who then said that management was looking into the building’s boiler. Now, whether that was true or not, he then explained that the reason our south-facing windows had iced over was due to wind and condensation from the river. This meteoric phenomenon is known as “Lake Effect.” For definition’s sake, ”Lake Effect” is produced during cooler atmospheric conditions when cold winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, providing energy and picking up water vapor, which freezes and is deposited on the leeward shores. So what I am supposed to believe is that the Hudson River is blowing east-bound wind through the New York City Streets and making only street-facing apartments icy? Sure. Let’s suspend our disbelief together: that still doesn’t change the fact that I have ice on the inside of my newly renovated apartment that is now melting into the drywall windowsill, potentially creating future structural problems.
We then suggested window insulation. That might prevent the ice and condensation? Our Superintendent stopped by again with a team of workers and some Saran Wrap. Yes, I’ve seen this used as a form of winter insulation, in trailer parks, but maybe this will help insulate whatever minimalist heat our radiators are sputtering out, or protect us from the harsh Hudson winds. Attached you will find the photos of the insulation just a few days after installation. Please note how well the adhesive is holding up. Please also note the water stain left that has not yet been repaired.
Moving on to the most recent of inconveniences. We received a notice on __________ letterhead that our gas line had not been hooked up to the Con Edison meter. On Thursday, January 9th a work team from __________ came to assess the situation and found a pressure leak within the walls from the gas pipes behind the kitchen cabinetry. We were informed as tenants, that an external gas pipe was to be run from the oven to the meter in order to regulate gas use. We would not allow work until speaking with upper management regarding this soon to be structural eyesore. On Friday, January 10th your workers returned to install 1″ black pipe of galvanized steel to connect our appliances to the meter: a beautiful white backsplash wall now marred with a dark intrusive metallic “accent”…how industrial. The new pipe also conveniently runs through a set of kitchen cabinets preventing use of kitchen storage space, the main reason why we chose to rent this apartment in the first place.
That same Friday night, I returned home from work with the intent of doing a quick load of laundry in preparation for my next day’s work. When I turned the washer on, water began spilling out of the bottom. Immediately after noticing the new leak, I ran to the machine to pause the cycle. The water continued to drain out of the front of the door even as the cycle had stopped. I put down towels to soak up the water and a large plastic trash bag to protect the new hardwood. I then had to manually drain the rest of the washer by emptying cup-fulls into the sink. As if I were fetching water from a well, I spent about a half an hour repeating this monotonous task. Upon further inspection, I realized from where this leak had sprung. The rubber gasket, that lines the machine door, had a break in it. To prevent mold and mildew smells within the unit, we like to leave the washer/dryer door ajar. Either our repairman’s ladder or foot had nicked the rubber, but this new missing chunk had now broken the seal to the machine rendering it unusable. An emailed request was put in that moment to have someone sent out immediately. Unfortunately, the earliest someone can inspect this issue is Tuesday. Once again, the in apartment washer/dryer is another factor on why this apartment was chosen.
On this fine Monday morning, a “Professional team of Plumbers” hired by __________ Residences, came to…well, I’m not really sure what they came to do, but as they marched through my living room with large and dirty work boots, tools and ladders in tow, I asked, “What is the purpose of today’s visit?” I was informed they were still here to look at the pipe protruding from the wall. I left the room and one phone call later I returned to the kitchen to find a large hole in the drywall above the cabinets where the gas meter sits. Sheetrock had been littered everywhere: debris on top of the cabinets, the countertop, the floor, the FOOD and dishes that had been sitting on the countertop! Once this mess had been pointed out to the team of professionals, they took my plastic trash bag that I had set on the ground to retrieve any left over dripping water from the washer/dryer and placed it on top of the already trashed food and counter!!! Professionalism at it’s best, if I may say so myself.
At noon the workers left for a lunch break and failed to ever return. Debris is still everywhere and has not been cleaned or removed from our cabinet space and cooking surfaces. I do not believe it is our duty to clean their mess. If someone is going to come into our apartment, hired from or part of the __________ team, I ask that they take responsibility for their “work” and be courteous to the apartment that we spend $2600 a month to rent as well as be respectful to the rest of our belongings and our purchased food.
I have barely had a moment in this email to address our broken buzzer, the three open-ended pipes, one that leaks fluid in one of the bedrooms, the handle-less cabinets, the towel rack that has fallen out of the wall after improper installation, and the hot water that never seems to work at the most inopportune moments! The fact of the matter is that you have us living in an unfinished apartment with damaged and unfinished infrastructure under the guise that this place in newly and fully renovated. This is false advertising and it is unconstitutional. My roommates and I have called all day long to no avail, twice we were hung up on and frankly we are tired of hearing about everyone, but the Finance team, being in a “meeting!”
I would like to schedule a meeting with a supervisor who will not only remedy these problems, but financially compensate us, via prorate, for our damaged food, damaged belongings and a general waste of my time. If these issues are not addressed I will be forced to contact 311.
As this has been the longest email I have ever had to write, I appreciate the time you took to read it and I expect a response within two business days.