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Old 09-18-2013, 05:06 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,523 times
Reputation: 10

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My roommate and I rented a condo from a management company that works for/is representing the owner of the condo. We really loved the place and even though the realtor from the company never answered his phone and barely responded to emails, we decided once we signed for this condo, we'd be done with him.

He wasn't there when we moved in - he left the lockbox on the door (still there to this day) and gave us the code to grab the keys ourselves so we never had a chance to get the mail keys or the gate remotes. We call the company and ask them a few questions - what's our parking space, where's our mail keys, and when can we get the gate remotes. The receptionist told us where our parking spot was a few days later and was helpful in that regard, no problems. She said she'd call us again in a day or two but she never did.

We call her again and ask and again she gives us the run around. Says she put in a request for the gate remotes to the HOA (a lie, I called and checked) and that we should go to the post office and pay for a set of keys for our mail box (uh what?). We go to the post office and of course they tell us it's our management's responsibility to give us the keys. We call them again after contacting them for over three weeks and my roommate and I both let them have it. The receptionist was very defensive and very unhelpful. I ended up calling the HOA and asking straight out if an order has been put in for the gate access remotes and they said no but gave me the number for the man who is responsible for them. I passed it along through email to the company, but again no response.

It's been over month and we still haven't been able to get our mail. I can see my mail box in the compound but have no way of accessing it. I even received a package I ordered at my door with a note telling me my mailbox was full and I need to get it. Plus, there has recently been construction work in the condos and the gate with the keypad was blocked off and I had no way of getting into the complex. I had to wait until someone else came along to open another gate (waited close to 25 minutes for that). AND the gate with the keypad has a short driveway leading up to the gate, so I have to park my car with half of it hanging out into the street, get out, punch in the code, and pray no one hits me or my car. I have been doing this close to a month and I just recently found out that this company is run by the realtor and that he's known to be terrible at his job and purposefully evasive. At this point, I'm stressed and frustrated because I have no way of accessing my mail and because of the recent construction I have to hope that I'm not blocked from going into the complex. I have been calling all this week, plenty of times today, too, and I think at this point they're avoiding our calls.

What can I do to fix this? I'm close to tears at this point.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Retired in Redding, CA!
6,710 posts, read 4,336,442 times
Reputation: 6382
Time to call the gate remote guy yourself and order one. Also, if the management co is responsible for the mailbox keys, I'm guessing you can call a locksmith? Call one and ask. Perhaps you can march with him to the office and get something in writing that gives him permission to do it if necessary.

If this doesn't work, start calling every hour on the hour, and send an email on the hour every hour. The receptionist will get those things for you if you make her life bad enough. Unfortunately for her, she's your best option to get the owner off his butt, if you can't get these things on your own.

Then send the bills to the management co. Don't deduct them from the rent, because that could come back on you.

Worst case scenario, they don't pay you back, you wait until you move and sue them in court for all of the money they will withhold from your security deposit - plus the cost of the keys and remote.

Do you have any proof of requesting these things in writing? If not, write up a log of when you called and who you talked to on what dates. And keep all future emails and letters.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,847 posts, read 9,879,208 times
Reputation: 6552
1. Find out who the owner is and contact the owner directly.

2. Email/ Text the property manager (did you keep a business card) and let them know you are going to phone the local TV station's consumer awareness reporter, you are going to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, you are going to file a complaint with your State's Attorney General's office

3. File a complaint against the property management company with the Better Business Bureau
4. Look up your State's renters rights and find out how to file a complaint
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:45 PM
 
2,103 posts, read 1,518,883 times
Reputation: 2944
To clarify, is the management company a private company not associated with the condo, or are they managing the property for the condo association. If they are not connected with the condo, your issues are with the management company you rented from and the owner of that condo unit. You may want to go carefully in communicating with the condo association just in case this turns out to be a unauthorized rental and your communications with them exposed it.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,523 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Time to call the gate remote guy yourself and order one. Also, if the management co is responsible for the mailbox keys, I'm guessing you can call a locksmith? Call one and ask. Perhaps you can march with him to the office and get something in writing that gives him permission to do it if necessary.

If this doesn't work, start calling every hour on the hour, and send an email on the hour every hour. The receptionist will get those things for you if you make her life bad enough. Unfortunately for her, she's your best option to get the owner off his butt, if you can't get these things on your own.

Then send the bills to the management co. Don't deduct them from the rent, because that could come back on you.

Worst case scenario, they don't pay you back, you wait until you move and sue them in court for all of the money they will withhold from your security deposit - plus the cost of the keys and remote.

Do you have any proof of requesting these things in writing? If not, write up a log of when you called and who you talked to on what dates. And keep all future emails and letters.
Hmm I don't have any written proof though I should have phone records of how many times I called and for how long we talked. Everything I've sent was through a comment/inquiry thing on their website which gives me no proof. They should have it on their side considering the receptionist acknowledged she received my message when I used this. I'll start emailing them from now on and keep a written phone record. I also think I could manage to buy the remotes from the maintenance guy and like you said, send them the invoice.

As for calling a locksmith, I could do that. I can't exactly march him in the office though. They listed a P.O. box on their website and there's an address on yelp though I'm not sure how accurate it is. Not to mention it's far so I'd only have time on the weekends to go which means they wouldn't be open. But thanks for your advice, this should get me somewhere!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirl View Post
1. Find out who the owner is and contact the owner directly.

2. Email/ Text the property manager (did you keep a business card) and let them know you are going to phone the local TV station's consumer awareness reporter, you are going to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, you are going to file a complaint with your State's Attorney General's office

3. File a complaint against the property management company with the Better Business Bureau
4. Look up your State's renters rights and find out how to file a complaint
1. I used county tax records to discover who the owner was but I found no way of contacting her. No social media sites, no phone number, nothing. I think the only way is through the management company. :/

2 & 3. I like this idea haha!

4. And yeah, I think I will. They completely don't understand why not having our mail is getting us so angry. I should have the right to access my own mail. Thanks for your feedback, it's been very helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabrrita View Post
To clarify, is the management company a private company not associated with the condo, or are they managing the property for the condo association. If they are not connected with the condo, your issues are with the management company you rented from and the owner of that condo unit. You may want to go carefully in communicating with the condo association just in case this turns out to be a unauthorized rental and your communications with them exposed it.
They're not associated with the condos, no. I know my issue is with the company, I only contacted the HOA to confirm if a request was put in which there wasn't. I don't think I'll have to contact them again but if I do I'll be sure to be more careful. Thank you for responding!
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:10 AM
 
2,555 posts, read 1,650,152 times
Reputation: 1532
Have you gone in person to the office of the agent who rented this unit to you? I know someone with similar issues, didn't go on as long, and they went to the office a few times and at the third time the secretary seemed fed up with the agent (he must be doing this regularly) and just went up to his desk drawer, took the keys out and handed them to the tenants. No more problems.

Electronic Lock Boxes are expensive. Are the other keys still in the lockbox?

If this is an electronic lock box you could contact the local board of realtors about it.

Here is the Texas Tenant Rights statement from the Tx Atty Gen's office. In a small box are many other pertinent links:

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/tenants.shtml

In the Texas Statutes regarding this you might find 92.052 helpful...Landlord's Duty to Repair or Remedy.:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/PR/htm/PR.92.htm

You can read further in the statutes and check out the other links the Atty Gen provides.

Begin your correspondence with legal quotes, giving the reference. That sounds like you know what you're talking about and will go further with this.

Statute states "Landlord" mean owner, lessor or sublessor but does not mean manager or agent of the landlord unless manager or agent purports to be the owner, lessor, or sublessor in an oral or written lease. What does your lease say about who the owner is? If it is signed by the agent or someone in the office with "lessor" beside it, good. If not, make a statement in one correspondence, "as lessor, do you suchandsuch" and see if they come back with yes or no. Then they are saying they are the lessor.

It references a dated letter (may be why the landlord is avoiding you) and the fact that the landlord can't sue you when you complain in good faith about necessary repairs.

Where you don't have written records of, say, numerous phone calls you can start now with an email stating I have contacted you on 8/9/13 at 11:12 and asking that suchandsuch and your receptionist, Ms. Soanso, stated whateverthing.

I contacted you on 8/12/13 at 4:30 pm and asked if_______________. Your receptionist, Ms. Soandso, stated _______________

Send this to the onsite office, to the head office if it is elsewhere, and to the hoa board members. AND to the Atty Gen'l's office and whatever other Tenant Rights group is listed on his site...whom you should be speaking with.

As far as the county tax records...they don't list the address with the name? If they do, send you letter there.

Many condo communities have their own sub-board. Does your have their own president who can give you some hints?

Have you asked any neighbors about the owner of you condo? Neighbor stories can be valuable.

NOTE on the Atty Gen site the many resources at your disposal....a Texas Tenant Advisor, TexasLawHelp.org, Texas Tenants' Union and several local tenants' councils. They should supply great info. Hopefully, one of the firs things they can do is help you get that owner's name....or find out if the issue is that there has been a foreclosure or something. (You might also look up the address to see if the condo is for sale and that's why the agent left the lockbox up).
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:22 PM
 
2,555 posts, read 1,650,152 times
Reputation: 1532
Also, what does your lease say where the owner is supposed to sign.

And not having your gate opener is part of not being able to access your property. You contracted for access to your property and are now being denied it by the office and hoa board. (Sometimes if you accuse someone who really feels they have nothing to do with a situation that person finds the solution. Someone will find that clicker.)
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:53 PM
 
2,555 posts, read 1,650,152 times
Reputation: 1532
Here is an example of some of the good stuff you can find in those links.

From the Austin Tenants' Council, for example:



http://www.housing-rights.org/owner.html



If the landlord does not provide the information [his name and address] by one of the three methods listed above, the tenant can give the landlord or manager a second notice in writing informing the landlord that if the information is not provided in seven more days the tenant may exercise remedies under Subchapter E of Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code. This notice must be in writing even if the first request was not and should either be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested or hand-delivered with a witness. If the landlord does not comply with the request by the eighth day after receipt of the notice, the tenant can exercise the remedies listed in the section “What Remedies Does the Tenant Have?”
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,847 posts, read 9,879,208 times
Reputation: 6552
Quote:
Originally Posted by cully View Post
Here is an example of some of the good stuff you can find in those links.

From the Austin Tenants' Council, for example:



http://www.housing-rights.org/owner.html


?
Is the OP in Texas?? How do you know this?
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:36 PM
 
3,766 posts, read 4,207,856 times
Reputation: 3868
The title of the thread says (TX)
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