Home is Where the Destruction is
An FYI to my FYI…
I’m on some pretty potent pain medication for a kidney stone, so this might ramble a bit and contain lots of typos and grammar faux pas. I’ll come back and edit when I’m not stoned off my ass.
So, I got home from the ER late last night. My curtains in my HUGE front window, were, once again, tossed to the floor, leaving a theatre-style view of my apartment for drivers and pedestrians walking and driving past the BUSY INTERSECTION which I live on the corner of. The floor just inside was left littered with bits of drywall and paint chips.
In my kitchen, which they thoroughly trashed previously, one of my curtains was wrapped around the curtain rod and the other one (the top one, it’s a two tiered curtain) was removed and tossed into my sink with some dishes I had soaking. I just bought these 4 days ago to replace the ones they initially took down and tossed onto the floor on top of a mixture of catfood and water that they had, just before removing the curtains, kicked to the side, dumping both over, ruining them. That window is right where people walk past with their dogs when they take them outside, so it was all on public display. Oh, and while they didn’t dump over the catfood and water this time, they did make sure to dump drywall bits and paint chips into them.
I regret I didn’t take pictures of it. I did, however, take pictures of what they did to my bedroom. I have relatively expensive curtains in there which were, for the 3rd time, tossed to the floor.
Don’t judge me too harshly, this is not what my apartment usually looks like. All that crap piled to the side is where I had to, when this all started, and with only a few hours notice (too long of a story to go into right now), move my dining room table, chairs, rug, and one of my floor to ceiling bookcases full of books. Then try to cleanup the kitchen they had trashed the day before so that it didn’t get trashed worse (it did, they literally tossed my half full garbage can into the laundry room area… on top of the curtains which were (unknown to me at the time) laying in a gooey mixture of catfood and water. Then I had to clear 8 feet from the window in my bedroom (big double windows) which meant tearing the bed down completely and stacking it all against the wall, and, since my bedroom is also my writing area and my guitar-and-pedal building area, I had a massive amount of equipment, parts, storage bins, etc, to get moved.
I had to just pile it, for the most part, as far to the side of the window as I had room. Then, of course, when they came back yesterday, while I was at work and then the ER, they seem to have STOMPED (or dug) through the edge of it, causing a junk-slide and breaking god knows what.
Also, I’ve had to lay a mattress down in the living room to sleep, not having any clue when the dickheads would return to finish things and having to leave my bed broken down. So for over a month I’ve had this queensize mattress jammed halfway up my staircase to get it somewhat out of the way. At night, drag it down; in the morning pick it up and drag it back up. First World Problems and all, yeah, but it’s still pretty shitty.
Again, this is NOT they way I keep my apartment. It’s terribly embarrassing to show, even so, but the visual really lets you know the reality of it. This is what it looked like when I got home last night (except those metal rail things where actually jsut tossed on the floor; I had picked them up before thinking nope, I better get a picture of this shit. Not pictured, old little nails that they pulled out of the original window sill and razor sharp slivers of metal from them trimming the new metal whatevers. They just left it like this and reported back to the office all done!:
So, it’s been over a month since they started this crap, also managing to destroy my AC (again, long story) while it’s still getting into the 90s(F) outside with ungodly humidity, and leaving the windows half finished the entire time (no window sills which involved gaps you can see through to the outside, which... San Antonio + 90 and higher F temps + full humidity = BUGS. I hate bugs so bad. Except lady bugs. No, it’s not because of their name (though that would humorously fit my MO), but because they actually manage to be cute and they mercilessly slaughter other bugs… the enemy of my enemy and all.
Okay, so most of you are probably thinking oh, hell no, I wouldn’t put up with that! but it’s not so simple in Texas. You have almost ZERO rights as a renter. You don’t like it? Evicted. Three days to clear out. You withhold rent? Evicted. Three days to clear out. Try to sue? Nope, that lease agreement screws you.
I’ve given them a lot of shit about it, trying to keep below that threshold for eviction (much like the “right to work” in this fucking state they can’t evict you for no reason, but it’s so easy to make a reason that a 4 year old could do it). And I emailed these pictures to the management along with several pages of complaints and shaming them for even charging me rent with my apartment in this condition.
Not much else I can do except move when my lease is up, but here’s the fun part. I’ve been there 6 years. When you move out, they replace the carpet if it’s been over 3 years, I think, or if it’s in bad shape. When I move, because the cat has clawed at it in places, even though it’s been over 6 years and even though they would replace it, regardless, I’m not getting my security deposit back and will be charged several hundred dollars in addition for carpet replacement.
In addition, I have to have a good report from these apartments in order to get my application accepted somewhere else. They will charge me around $1000 to not give me a bad review when the new apartments call for that reference.
Sounds like extortion? Why yes it does! It happened to me when I moved here. I luckily got my application in and accepted before my old apartments tried this. When I moved I hired a cleaning crew to scrub it top to bottom. They did a pretty decent job. I contacted them over 30 days in advance that I would need to break my lease due to moving with my job. They said “Okay! No problem! The penalty is one month’s rent.” So I get moved out, and go to give my key to them and I get told I owe them $2550, $850 for the lease breaking fee and $850 X 2 for the 60 days rent for not giving them adequate notice. The lease I signed said 30 day notice. So they pulled out the newest lease and pointed out that it had been changed to 60 days. Fucking assholes.
So I told them I’d be happy to pay the lease breaking fee but they could pack sand up their asses while I watched if they wanted the rest. Fuck those guys. My application for the apartment in San Antonio was already approved, security deposit, pet deposit, and first & last month’s rent paid. I wasn’t going to give them $850 and have them say it doesn’t matter because I didn’t pay them in full. It’s pointless. It was the $850 free and clear, or Zip. They chose Zip and I waved bye-the-fucking-bye.
Soooo… a couple of years ago I did try to move from the apartments I’m in now. The new apartments told me that not only did I have to give the old apartments notice and get a reference from them about me moving out before they could accept the application (which means, if my application is rejected I have no fucking home) AND that my apartments before them (the $850 X 3 guys) had reported me for owing them.. get this…. $3050!! It turns out they had added $500 more onto their total to cover cleaning and carpet, you know, the carpet they were required to replace anyway. Also, recall, I paid a cleaning crew to go through the entire apartment once it was cleared. Oh, and they kept my security deposit. Cute, yeah? So all total, with the Sec Dep added in, they tried to get $3550 out of me for moving.
My only recourse? Give them the finger and wait it out for 7 years, taking the ding to my credit. At one point I did, again, offer $850 to settle things. They declined and I told them to suck it. Juvenile I know, but it was mildly satisfying.
So, anyway, still no call back from the apartment management. *sigh*