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Emails between me and my complex:

First email from me:



My name is _______. I am a resident, living at ________ I am writing to express my displeasure at the progress of the maintenance that is being done to my building. While I am not entirely sure of the dates, I believe it has been roughly two months since work began on the pipes in my building, to ensure that our apartments get "constant water temperature." Since that work began, seven holes have been put in my walls, none of which have been fixed. I have two copper pipes and three rubber tubes running through my apartment, hanging from the ceiling and out in the open. At first, I took this all in stride and was happy to see progress being made, because my water temperature fluctuating was frustrating me. However, as time has gone on, no improvements have been made. These pipes and holes have been there for weeks, and nothing has been done to my knowledge, except the sporadic "final tests" on the piping as reported by a few random notes on my door. Yet, there have been roughly 3 days in the past 3 weeks I took off of work and on none of those days did I ever see any work being done on this. On top of everything, my water temperature in the shower still fluctuates regularly.



While I am unsure if this is the _________ staff or a contractor doing this work, I believe it is the duty of the management of this complex to push for this work to be done in the near future. I feel the tenants of this building are being taken advantage of. I signed a lease under the impression that I would be given a place where I would be able to live in comfort, but having holes drilled in my walls and pipes jutting out is taking away my ability to live comfortably. I understand that improvements need to be made, but this is out of line.



In order to show any sense of respect and consideration to your tenants, I believe, in addition to this work being completed, we should be compensated in some way, whether this is in a discount on rent, or in some other way. At this point, I would also like to request an alteration in my own lease. I am so fed up that I will be looking to move out this summer. I believe that since Creekside has not given me a comfortable place to live, I should be given the right to get out of my lease with no penalty. I am still willing to give the required two months notice, but I am requesting something in writing that says that due to the circumstances of the past few months, I have the right to get out of my lease at no penalty.



Up until this instance, I have been at least content with my apartment and have been happy with management, so please do not think this is the ranting of a constantly unhappy tenant. It is just that I did not sign a 12 month lease with the knowledge that I would spend two months (and counting) with holes in my walls, feeling like I am living in an unfinished basement. Feel free to contact me at your convenience, either by phone _______ or by email so we can work this out. Thank you for your time.



Their Reply:



I received your email today in reference to the overhead plumbing work

that has been ongoing in your building and would like to take a moment

to respond. I appreciate your candor and patience thus far and thank

you for your input.



In Paragraph 1 you state that the capital improvement was to ensure

"constant water temperature". I need to correct that statement. This

improvement was done due to the consistent underground slab leaks that,

due to age, are a continuing force to be controlled. Though we realize

that this project has been cumbersome, it will enable us to ensure that

no underground leaks can happen again to the residents of this

building. Slab leaks are messy, expensive, inconvenient to everyone and can

happen at any time in multiple locations, even in one apartment.



Your water temperature fluctuating has nothing to do with the project

that is currently underway. When several units work off of one boiler,

as in the set up we have here at ________, this will happen. I would

need you to be more specific as to when and what those fluctuations are

so that I can assess if this is something we need to look into

further.



As for how long the project has taken, we agree, that the contractor we

chose has taken longer than we had hoped as well. This was due, in

part, to problems we incurred along the way that were unforeseen. Your

building is the first one that we have tackled and we had a few learning

curves along the way.



I came into this project at the end, so I was not here to follow up and

expedite the contractor along the way. I recently started here as the

Community Director at the end of February. Currently we are in

drywall stages and my update from the contractor is that everyone will be

completed by April 11, 2008. Notices are being put out tomorrow to

confirm that communication to everyone in the buildings.



To address Paragraph 3, you are asking for some type of compensation.

I want to share with you the same information I have given other

residents in your building. First, you have been given certain compensations

in respect to your rent. You were given a full month spread out over

3 months when you moved in which was equal to $724.00. They also

reduced your rent by $120.00 per month over the term of your 12 month lease

which is an added compensation of $1440.00. I am in no way stating

that these compensations can make up for your inconvenience, but I would

like for you to take into consideration our efforts when we moved you

into your new home.



As for additional monetary remuneration, I do not have the ability to

reduce your rent further, nor compensate you as a one time concession

because the work has taken longer than you would have liked. Their are

Fair Housing rules and regulations that deem it necessary for me to

treat situations the same for everyone. I have 540 units here, and if I

compensate one person for their inconvenience, then I must be ready to do

the same for everyone. The area gets very gray, but the regulations

are black and white.



As for allowing you to break your lease, this is also an area where I

have to follow the legal document that you signed. The verbiage is very

distinct in what it takes to break your lease agreement with Creekside

and I must follow that to the letter. What I could offer you would be

to transfer you to another unit for the remainder of your lease.

Please keep in mind that I would make sure this is not a building scheduled

for the overhead plumbing changes in the near future. I might also

suggest that if you are open to this, you consider a 2nd or 3rd floor

apartment where possible slab leaks would not be an issue.



I am more than happy to view your unit with you at your convenience,

but I will tell you that I have been in every unit three times now with

my maintenance supervisor and the contractor so I am very aware of what

the conditions are at this time.



I have copied our Regional Director on this email as well, so that you

understand that we take your concerns and complaints very seriously.

I will apologize for the length of time it has taken to accomplish our

goals, but our intentions are in your best interest as a resident of

_________.



On a lighter note, when you mentioned some type of compensation, I do

have an idea that might interest you. We recently moved in the

Louisville Fire Football team to stay through the summer. If you are a sports

enthusiast, I am sure I would be able to work out tickets to all the

home games for yourself and several others at no cost to you.



I realize that this cannot absolve us but perhaps it would make the

delay a little more tolerable. I look forward to hearing back from you at

your earliest convenience, and if you would like to meet in person

simply let me know your schedule and I will make myself available.



Thank you for your time and concern, it is greatly appreciated.



My Reply:



Yes, I received the email on Thursday. I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner but I have been out of town since Friday morning. First off, I wanted to thank you for your reply to my email and your detailed explanation of everything that is going on in my building. I really do appreciate you taking the time to explain a lot of that to me. I think that really was going above and beyond, because I'll be completely honest and tell you I was expecting a couple of sentences back telling me that you couldn't do anything to help me out. So no matter what I say in the duration of this email, I am serious when I say I appreciate the time you took to respond to my concerns.



You stated that the improvement was done due to "consistent underground slab leaks...," and not due to fluctuating water temperature. That is fine, but as I recall, the language I was given through updates posted on my door was that the reason the work was being done was to steady the water temperature. I wasn't writing initially to complain about the fluctuation, but I was led to believe that was the reason for the work being done. Maybe you can go back and check on what was given to the residents, but as I recall the language that was used was, "in order to ensure constant water temperature," so either I am remembering the letter I received incorrectly, or I was misled.



I've already made my concern about the length of time the project has taken very clear so I will not pursue that argument much further except to ask what will happen when, come Friday, April 11, the work is not complete. While I am not stating this is a certainty, I have lost faith in the ability of the contractors to get this job done on schedule. What will happen if I still have holes in my wall on Monday? Will I just get another note on my door stating that the work is being finished up, sorry for the inconvenience? This is where much of my concern stems from. I feel like I've been led to believe for a few weeks now that the project would be done within a couple of days, and I still come home every day to those 7 holes. I plan on taking two days off work this week, so I may be home during the day. My plan was to relax for these two days after having to work quite a bit of overtime last week, but instead I may be kicked out of my apartment while work is being done, or else stuck standing by in another room.



Let me make it clear that my anger is not geared toward you, as I know that you have no control over the contractors, and you have been kind and patient enough to deal with me thus far. You are just the only person I know to contact.



In regards to your statements in paragraphs 6 and 7 of your email, I don't really see the validity of your points. You mentioned the discounts I received in rent when I signed my lease. While I agree that these were very generous, I don't believe your point of bringing this up holds any water. I was under the impression that I received these discounts as a "Move-In Special." I was not under the impression that I was receiving these discounts as compensation for future inconvenience I may experience through the course of my lease. You also made mention of Fair Housing rules in regards to how you can address certain situations. While I am no expert on law or Fair Housing rules, you stated they, "deem it necessary for [you] to treat situations the same for everyone." I don't disagree with that, but perhaps you should find some way to compensate (not even monetarily, but in some other way) everyone for this inconvenience.



As for breaking my lease, I believe there is a bit of gray area which I think we could work out. Section 10 speaks of defaulting your lease, one way being, section 10 (ii) - "resident vacates the Apartment prior to the expiration of the term." Section 10 (1) states upon default of the lease, owner MAY do ANY or ALL of the following....." and it goes on to state the penalties. While I agree this could be interpreted any way, nothing there is set in stone. There is a lot of gray area, which could allow me to get out of my lease early (should I request) an pay any damages and any rent due up to the date of my departure, but not for the remainder of my lease. And I know you may cite Fair Housing rules to me, but who is to say you can't treat situations like this in the same way. I know this all may be a stretch, but the door is clearly open for negotiation.



As for switching to a different apartment, this is something I may consider, but I would have to make certain requests, including having a mover paid for, as I may not be able to round up people to help me move on short notice.



Please understand that I am not trying to be difficult or unreasonable, but I feel very strongly about this and I feel like I need to be heard out. Once again, I truly appreciate the time you have taken so far to address my concerns. I would be interested in meeting in the future to discuss this matter, but based on what you stated in your last email, I don't really know if we would accomplish anything, but it is a possibility. Thanks again for your time, and hopefully we can come to some sort of agreement.



And Their Reply:



Thank you for your reply and your honest interpretation of the matters

at hand. I am always appreciative of resident feedback.



As for the possibility of your moving to another apartment, yes, I

would pay the movers to move you so you would incur no time off from work

or have to get anyone to assist you.



As for the contractor, I do feel confident that he will be completed by

Friday. In the new agreement for the drywall he has specific dates

and when they are not met we subtract money for every day they go over.

Normally when you do this they do everything in their power to get the

job done. I was not here for the original agreement, but would have

bet they would have completed it expediciously had that been in the

contract.



As for the early lease termination, you do have the option to do this.

It requires a 30 day notice and a lease break fee equivalent to two

months rent, paid at time of the notice. I did want to clarify that

when I spoke about the large rent discounts, perhaps I did not communicate

it well. I brought that into the converation because I have certain

latitudes when assisting residents on a compensatory level. Because of

the fact that your rent was already reduced below the acceptable budget

constraints, I am not able to reduce it further. When you come in on

a rent special as large as you did I have no where to go because I am

already on the bottom line. This in no way reflects that you should

receive less service because of your rent is reduced, so I apologize if it

seemed like I was inferring that in my letter.



As for Fair Housing, I have had MANY classes and we are required to

update them every 6 months, so I am very well versed in what I can and

can't do in regards to my residents and new propsects. I was only

relaying this so that you would understand why I can't make different deals to

different people with the same circumstances, as is the case with your

building.



I want to tell you that I believe you will see some very positive

changes in the short term and would ask you to give us these next 30 days to

show you we're starting to get things under control. My door is

ALWAYS open. I just moved onto property this weekend and I will be

patrolling (literally) our community nights and weekends to make sure

everything is staying calm and peaceful.



As for tickets, I have them available for the games on 4/26, 5/17, 6/14

and so on. I'd be more than happy to get you tickets to one or more

of the games for your inconvenience. We have great seats and I can get

you at least 4 to any of them. If you have an interest, let me know.

They play at Freedom Hall at 7:00pm on all dates.



Hopefully my communication will show you that I have a serious interest

in this community and my residents. I do not take your living here

for granted and I appreciate your input, concern, criticism and honesty.

I'd like it very much if you would give us the opportunity to show

you we can do things right!!

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