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Old 09-07-2010, 09:55 AM
 
48 posts, read 268,081 times
Reputation: 63

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I have elderly relatives who recently moved into an apartment and they're having problems and don't know who to complain to. I know they've made complaints already, but haven't gotten anywhere. I'm thinking they may need to "threaten" to contact someone higher than the apartment manager/owner.

Here is a list of their problems. Perhaps someone here could tell me who they should complain to and how to get these people to listen to the complaints.

1. The on/off knob on the bath/shower is missing so they can't run water.

2. They can't get phone service through either Verizon or Comcast and both companies claim the problem is not on their side. Verizon claims something is wrong with the phone jacks. Comcast claims the signal has been split elsewhere in the apartment building and the signal is too low to provide phone or internet service.

Landline phone service is needed since one of my relatives is severely handicapped. He can't figure out how to use a cell phone and if he needs to contact someone in an emergency he won't be able to without a landline (or regular telephone - I don't know how Comcast phone service works).

3. Management was supposed to install hand bars and mini-ramps to make the apartment wheelchair/handicap accessible. They have not done any of this. At the very least, a mini-ramp is needed at the doorway to the apartment. There is just the smallest step there and it's difficult to get both a wheelchair and powerchair into the apartment.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:25 AM
 
77 posts, read 121,097 times
Reputation: 50
Small Claims Court
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,713 posts, read 6,126,166 times
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Small claims court? What are they going to sue for? You can only use SC court for actual monetary loss, of which they've had none so far.

If they have conveyed these things verbally already and gotten no response,
your relatives need to send a letter by certified mail to the manager. If there is a resident manager (one who is there all day) then find out who that person's supervisor is and send a copy to that person as well.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:03 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 10,436,634 times
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your state landlord tenant laws will spell out all recourse and remedy. make sure you are doing exactly what the law requires. if it says you must mail a letter with proof of delivery, you must mail a letter with proof of delivery. If it says the LL has x days to comply, you must give them x days to comply. If it says if the Ll doen't do this or than you must to this or that, that's what you do. You may be able to get some assistance from your local city, county, state senior citizen assistance agency or from a handicap assistance agency. The LL can do whatever they want and you may not be able to do anything about it if you are not following what is required of the tenant in the law.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:33 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
1,764 posts, read 1,015,513 times
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It depends on where they live, who owns the property, who manages it and the information in their lease.

First, check the lease for information about how and where to get issues resolved.

Second, the property owner or management company would probably be the "next in line" for a formal complaint. I would suggest that someone put the complaints, in writing, so they can not deny knowing about them later.

Third, State laws where they live will provide information on landlord/tenant grievances.

Fourth, there may be a community service in their area to help elderly and/or handicapped tenants with these kinds of problems.

It may be necessary to break the lease if these issues are not resolved in a timely manner. Being without the necessary equipment or phone service is a serious handicap in the event of an emergency.

All the best.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,351 posts, read 10,281,952 times
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Check the lease about the telephone lines responsibility. Usually the apartment is not responsible to provide telephone service or access to telephone lines. It should be spelled out in the lease.
There should be community services for the elderly or perhaps a local church organization. Some can provide the handicap access needed and or the telephone.
Also, make sure the lease contains the items that your relatives are saying were agreed to provide. If the items are not there you may have a problem getting the apartment to provide them. The maintenance items need to be put in writing to the manager. Certified return receipt will provide proof of notice of needed maintenance.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:27 AM
 
1,465 posts, read 2,774,724 times
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This so much depends on the location. I will give you answers for California but of course, this won't necessarily apply to you

Quote:
Originally Posted by ittle View Post
1. The on/off knob on the bath/shower is missing so they can't run water.
Is there another operating shower? If not, you have a habitability issue, if so, you have an issue of what your lease says as far as accommodations vs. actuality. Both are an issue but the latter is a civil issue. How you handle it may different
Quote:
Originally Posted by ittle View Post
2. They can't get phone service through either Verizon or Comcast and both companies claim the problem is not on their side. Verizon claims something is wrong with the phone jacks. Comcast claims the signal has been split elsewhere in the apartment building and the signal is too low to provide phone or internet service.

Landline phone service is needed since one of my relatives is severely handicapped. He can't figure out how to use a cell phone and if he needs to contact someone in an emergency he won't be able to without a landline (or regular telephone - I don't know how Comcast phone service works).
In California, a landlord is required to provide what is necessary for a land line company to connect service. Your state may vary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ittle View Post
3. Management was supposed to install hand bars and mini-ramps to make the apartment wheelchair/handicap accessible. They have not done any of this. At the very least, a mini-ramp is needed at the doorway to the apartment. There is just the smallest step there and it's difficult to get both a wheelchair and powerchair into the apartment.
In California, a landlord is not required to make the unit handicapped accessible but is required to allow the tenant to make reasonable changes to accommodate the handicapped. This is at the tenant's expense and must be returned to the prior state at the end of the tenancy.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,830 times
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I live in Texas. Just moved into senior apt complex to help my mom who lives here. I fell over a car stop while moving furniture. The cement car stop is at the end of three sidewalks that come together so a wheelchair can go to the parking spot. the man behind me uses a wheelchair and he has to stop at the car stop, get out of his chair, get his cane and get to his car. If he wants to get his wheelchair to the car he has to pull it over and around the car stop! I have been to ER twice and Chiropractor. I have a broken little finger and knee is messed up too. All from a cement car stop right at the end of the handicapped sidewalk. What can I do to make them remove this car stop? All they did is come out and paint the car stop yellow!! Very funny!! Just remove it so we don't fall over it or a wheelchair bound person can get to their car
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:31 PM
 
8,384 posts, read 7,237,233 times
Reputation: 8933
Quote:
Originally Posted by ittle View Post
I have elderly relatives who recently moved into an apartment and they're having problems and don't know who to complain to. I know they've made complaints already, but haven't gotten anywhere. I'm thinking they may need to "threaten" to contact someone higher than the apartment manager/owner.

Here is a list of their problems. Perhaps someone here could tell me who they should complain to and how to get these people to listen to the complaints.

1. The on/off knob on the bath/shower is missing so they can't run water.

2. They can't get phone service through either Verizon or Comcast and both companies claim the problem is not on their side. Verizon claims something is wrong with the phone jacks. Comcast claims the signal has been split elsewhere in the apartment building and the signal is too low to provide phone or internet service.

Landline phone service is needed since one of my relatives is severely handicapped. He can't figure out how to use a cell phone and if he needs to contact someone in an emergency he won't be able to without a landline (or regular telephone - I don't know how Comcast phone service works).

3. Management was supposed to install hand bars and mini-ramps to make the apartment wheelchair/handicap accessible. They have not done any of this. At the very least, a mini-ramp is needed at the doorway to the apartment. There is just the smallest step there and it's difficult to get both a wheelchair and powerchair into the apartment.
Contact the social worker at the nearest senior center, nursing home. Ask for the name and phone number of your local Ombudsman. They will help. Also, contact Senior services the for the state you are in. Check online, there are helpful agencies meant specifically to help seniors, which are considered vulnerable adults. Get on that today. Also, most states have implemented the 211 resource program. Call 211 from your phone, same area code you need resource info for. Ask for help after you describe the issues. Ir is a great program, hopefully your state has it. Thanks for being a caring family member!!

Last edited by JanND; 01-25-2012 at 12:34 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
10,310 posts, read 9,838,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
Contact the social worker at the nearest senior center, nursing home. Ask for the name and phone number of your local Ombudsman. They will help. Also, contact Senior services the for the state you are in. Check online, there are helpful agencies meant specifically to help seniors, which are considered vulnerable adults. Get on that today. Also, most states have implemented the 211 resource program. Call 211 from your phone, same area code you need resource info for. Ask for help after you describe the issues. Ir is a great program, hopefully your state has it. Thanks for being a caring family member!!
The original post is well over a year old.
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