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Posted: 3/8/2006 8:07:51 PM EDT
We moved into an apartment complex almost two months ago and have had some major issues already. On the day we moved in the landlord refused to go on a walk through in our unit and instead gave us a sheet to document any problems. I found a couple and subsequently reported them to her at which time a work order was prepared. She asked if permission to enter could be granted. I said yes. No time frame was given. The lease specifically calls for 48 hour notice and a reasonable time to enter. I did not let my wife know about it.

Here is the problem. Three days later, shortly before 8:00 a.m., my was exiting the shower when our dog began growling (she does that when a stranger is near and only with a stranger). Our son and the dog were in the room together. My wife let the dog out and she continued to growl and bark a little. My wife got dressed and immediately the dog began howling and barking immensely. As she walked out the door, a man was standing in the doorway to the patio. He did not say anything and my wife simultaneously started to scream. He still remained silent, but finally said he did not know anyone was home. My wife became terrified as he slowly closed the screen door and sliding glass door and then locked it. Minutes passed before he let her know he was the maintenance man. All the while she was yelling at him to get out of the apartment. Finally, he did so.

Today, things just got worse. During the last week, two different inspections have been scheduled for our unit. I don't mind them inspecting. What I do mind is that, even though 48 hour notice was given, absolutely no time frame was given just a five day window of entry. Because of this and the above incident, we went to the landlord today to ask if they could simply call prior to entry. The lady responded by saying she could put us on a list, but would not guarantee a call. My wife, for the second time, repeated the above story. They could care less about what happened. The lady did not even address the issue. We again asked if we could please be notified to which she responded "I cannot speak with you any more. I can give you corporates number but they will tell you the same thing." She walked out of the conference room we were speaking in while I was still talking to her. I causually followed out stating that "Mam, we would just like to break our lease" based on their lack of adhering to their own lease agreement.

As I said that, I noticed the other landlord (woman) and a prospective tenant (man). The woman responded to my statement saying "Excuse me, don't yell in my office." I said, "I was not yelling." She said, "you are interrupting my conversation." The man confirmed her response and ordered me to go back in the other room. I then said, "you don't talk to me that way, I am having a conversation with this lady (the one helping us) and you interrupted me." The guy became very rude and muffled some comments to which I began getting a little angry. I told him to stay out of it because it was none of his business. He took a few steps toward me and I then began walking in his direction. The lady with him abruptly yelled "do you want me to call 911." I said "What?". She said "I will call right now unless you get out of my office." I couln't believe she was yelling at me and allowing the man to proceed in my direction for what I thought was going to be a physical confrontation. Finally, she said "Get out of my office" at which time I, my wife, and 3 year old son did.

What the hell am I to do about this?

Later today, my wife decided to go back by herself to ask if we could please get out of our lease. A few weeks ago we asked questions regarding breaking the lease. Another woman told us a 30 day written notice would have to be given. Anyway, my wife entered the office and in a friendly manner asked if it could be broken. The two same ladies gathered near her and the confrontational one said "I am not letting you out of your lease." My wife brought up to them about the "entering in a reasonable time" situation at which the lady said "Oh well, this is how we do things." My wife said "I don't know what to do then." The lady said "I can't help you." My wife began leaving when she said "I guess I'll have to see a lawyer." The lady then yelled "BYE" and motioned her away like a fly.

Help me guys! What should I do now?
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 8:29:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 8:40:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 9:08:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pang1179:

Originally Posted By double_wielder:
www.supreme.state.az.us/info/brochures/landlord.htm

www.azsos.gov/public_services/publications/Residential_Landlord_Tenant_Act/2004/Landlord_Act.htm



What are your feelings on the matter?




I would learn what my rights are.
Find out how they violated them and then get
a court involved.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 11:21:52 PM EDT
I would have climbed up on the desk, dropped trou and bomb a stink pickle into her pencil holder.

But thats just me.

Seriously though. LEGALLY be as difficult as you can, THEY will push to break the lease. Continue to harp on Corporate until they get it through their thick skulls that they CANNOT just walk into your home when they want to.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 5:52:51 AM EDT
I am a property manager, and I have NEVER provided such a large window of entry after a 48-hour intent to enter notice. 5 days is utter bullshit and shows a complete lack of respect for the tenant. Not to mention that maintenance is to clearly identify themselves!

This is typical for larger management corporations, unfortunately. They are the sweetest, nicest people in the world when you are a prospective tenant. But once that lease is signed, their true colors come out and you find you are but a number in a unit to them. Still, the way you were treated in the office is 100% true to form and just not right.

Whatever you do, do not abandon your lease. Trust me, if you do you WILL lose and it is an expensive judgment and screws your credit.

What you need to do is call corporate and explain to them (politely) that the management team and you and the wife unit are bumping heads. Fair warning: they will hardly hear you at first, but don't get pissed off. Just be tenacious with the calls and be extremely nice to the secretary - she is the ONE person there that directs your call, and if you want satisfaction it starts with her.

Make yourself a bulleted list of points you feel are not conducive to staying there, and have dates and names associated with each item. The more detailed, organized, and professional you are the more the executive is going to pay you attention and take your concerns seriously. People in those positions are like judges in that they deal with liars and assholes that don't understand the law--but think they do--everyday, so if you want to be heard then knowing your shit and articulating it professionally is an absolute must.

When you get to speak with someone that can actually do something for you, you're going to ask for what's called a mutual recission of the lease. Basically, it means that both parties under the binding of the contract agree to waive their position and void the agreement. They are going to tell you no, which is when you ask them how they intend to address the issues on your list. Make certian you mention that all you are asking is a phone call before entry because "my wife and baby boy are home alone during the day, and she has heard too many news stories of people pretending to be maintenance, repairmen technicians, and meter readers." Emphasize how concerned for their safety you are, and that a phone call from the maintenance department or the office should be policy due to the rash of posers that gain entry to do harm.

Tell them you're trying to be reasonable, but that the family's safety must come first and if you have to you will report your issues to the owners - but you'd prefer to stick to finding a resolution with management as a matter of mutual courtesy (It doesn't matter if you believe that or not - it's the language they will pay the most attention to).

Be organized. Be professional. Be detailed, yet concise. Know your rights under the Landlord Tenant Act, but don't be an asshole thinking you know it all. Trust me, there are loopholes that we can use to really make your life miserable. Strive for resolution, but if you want to move get a mutual recission. Read the lease very carefully, and point out any discrepancies.

"You're violating the lease!" is going to accomplish NOTHING. We've heard all the shit before, and 99.9% of the time the tenant hasn't a clue what they are talking about. Even if you do, experience tells us you most likely don't, so your words will be wasted. Besides, if they are in violation of the lease it's your word against their lawyer - you're going to be hard pressed to make a case, because the lawyers we use do only 1 thing: leasing issues.

Instead, use non-confrontational wording. "I believe there s a misunderstanding in the lease concerning [this]. Could you please explain it to me so I am clear?" If you know you are right, wait for their explanation and follow up with, "Oh, I see. Unfortunately, the on-site management does not agree with your assessment, as they are doing [this] instead." Or, "Okay, thank you for that. I feel that [this] should be much more udnderstandable when signing the lease to avoid situations such as this in the future. You might want to note that."

If none of this works, or if they are just plain assholes while you are being civil, go to the owner representative outside of the management. It would be very wise to record all your conversations with corporate, just in case they are dicks. Then you have proof and can make a point of the management company making the owners look bad. Explain that the confrontational manner and plain disrespect shown to you by the management is not acceptable in business, and that your request for a civil solution in the form of a mutual recission was met by outward hostility; and you will no longer live under those conditions. Make it a point that a recission would part you on good terms, rather than having someone staying there that is constantly at opposite ends of the management.

Most importantly, though, is the detailed list and Landlord Tenant Act. Know what you are talking about when you start talking. BTW, 5 days time of entry is NOT a violation of the lease, so don't go there. It is rude and I would NEVER allow it, but it is not a legal infraction unless the lease specifically states a time frame.

If I can help you make your case by telling you what they want to hear, shoot me a PM with your number (or I'll give you mine) and we can go into it in more detail. Good luck, and keep us updated.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 11:17:32 AM EDT
Since this guy didn't clearly i.d. himself, and he came back in and locked the patio door, but again made no attempt to explain who he was or what he was doing there.....

I could see these easily having evolved into an armed confrontation, given the right circumstances.

Then you'd have a dead maintanence guy, an distraught homeowner, a traumatized kid, and a management company trying to explain why their maintenance folks weren't announced or i.d.'ing themselves.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 11:41:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TimW:
Since this guy didn't clearly i.d. himself, and he came back in and locked the patio door, but again made no attempt to explain who he was or what he was doing there.....

I could see these easily having evolved into an armed confrontation, given the right circumstances.

Then you'd have a dead maintanence guy, an distraught homeowner, a traumatized kid, and a management company trying to explain why their maintenance folks weren't announced or i.d.'ing themselves.



Absotively! There is no excuse for a lack of identifying yourself, and if homeboy were cashing checks with my name on them, he'd be cashing his last one.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 3:43:52 PM EDT
I think we need the skinny on this apartment complex. I'm looking for a unit pretty soon and I don't want to get stuck with these peckerwoods.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 4:08:52 PM EDT
next time this happens, draw down and then attempt to kick out.. then when he explains who he is.. "say daaymmn man...you gots to let me know with a note on the door, or knocking, if no answer, announcing entry."


well, that might not be the smartest route, but I would pull it off.
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