Friday, April 28, 2017
The Shoemaker Has No Shoes: In My Case >> The Real Estate Expert Has No Apartment (err, Bathroom)
I have been holed up in an empty studio apartment in my apartment building for a couple of days. The bathroom in my one bedroom apartment is currently undergoing emergency bathroom repair.
The ceiling below my bathroom caved into the apartment below mine last month.
Although I have sent notices to the landlord for 12 years (yes, 12 long years) about the multiple leaks and the horrid conditions in my bathroom (and throughout the apartment and the building) — ABC Properties did nothing until the ceiling collapsed (barely killing the tenant below me).
And so, I was told by Jozef Zagreda, ABC Properties new manager who has an office in my landlord’s larger set of offices: “We’re going to renovate your bathroom.”
To which I replied: “You are going to repair my bathroom. Finally.”
“No,” Jozef insisted. “You’re going to get an entirely new bathroom.”
I’m no one’s fool and I’ve been in real estate for decades so I know that what my landlord attempted to do for many years is to get me to leave my rent stabilized one bedroom apartment (for which I pay less than $1,000) by not maintaining my apartment, by not responding to repair requests, by performing shoddy work when it was finally done, and really using everything in his/their power to get me to leave.
And so now I am fighting for a substantial rent reduction and possibly will have to take them to court. Because it seems I am also sick from the growing mold.
“Mold?” The manager echoed with a dramatic exaggeration. “You’re not an expert on mold.”
“That’s why I am telling you to get a mold remediation expert into the bathroom when it is being repaired.”
“We’re spending thousands of dollars, Kirby. You’re getting a brand new bathroom. It is not a repair, it is a renovation.”
In any event. It is a repair and I am now temporarily in an empty apartment, still sick, waiting for the crew (landlord REFUSED to get a mold remediation specialist) to finish repairing my bathroom.
I TOOK A COUPLE OF VIDEOS (in case anyone is interested in taking a look at the horrible condition of what was my bathroom):
Copyright 2017 Kirby Sommers
I have a reasonably good looking *repaired* bathroom now that is unusable and which, again, has leaks (among a multitude of other issues). So it looks good, you just can't really use it.
For example: I am still missing a bathroom door. The hallyway of my particular building is a square U-shape which acts as an echo chamber. So that my neighbor on the other side of the building told me: "I can hear you flush your toilet." Privacy is a tenant's right. Lack of providing privacy is a breach of the Warranty of Habitability.
The sink leaks. I began the weary task of trying to put my things away and wanted to clean the vanity below the new sink. To my dismay there was a water pile spilling onto the back of the sink and onto the floor and possibly even down to the neighbor below me (who has already had to deal with this issue for as long as I have had to deal with mine).
The shower faucet doesn't work properly. So that there is almost no water pressure and as if that weren't bad enough when the faucet is turned on the water comes down in an angle hitting the tiles and the grout area between the tiles and the tub. This is going to corrode the area and, I cannot even believe this as I write it, will create the same problem I had before. Meaning multiple gaps in the walls with water seeping through creating not just another possibility of the ceiling beneath my bathroom caving in again, but continuing to add to the already bad mold problems.
One would think that ABC Properties, who owns the building, would have at least concentrated on installing the new plumbing in a way that would have directly addressed the emergency of the repair.
They chose, instead, to purchase the cheapest quality materials that did nothing to address the serious issues -- which if left in this shoddy fashion will re-create the same problem. Talk about penny wise and dollar foolish (I hate cliche's but in this case I can think of nothing else).
One of my neighbors has stopped by twice and he, too, has lived in the building for many years. We looked at one another and both of us said at the same time: I guess we have a slumlord."