Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Loathsome landlord


I felt this great relief when I left my prior apartment for the last time. I remember saying to my father, "I can't believe the final inspection went off so easily!"

Apparently I spoke too soon.

As you may remember, I had a few difficulties with my building manager and my building owner while I was vacating, including the manager showing the suite with no notice (it's always lovely to meet new people while you are cleaning the stove) and the owner trying to charge me for a paint job I never did.

While I was going through the process of vacating the place, I had a sense that they were going to be nitpicky, so I pretty much scrubbed the house spotless. I spent 5 hours cleaning my stove, filled in countless holes in the wall that were from the last tenants, and even cleaned beneath my fridge and stove, which I guarantee had never been done by the past several owners. I did everything on the checklist my manager had given me-- and I am a clean person-- I have never not received my damage deposit back in full before. I even had my sister and dad, who happened to be in town, help me clean the morning I was leaving.

In short- the apartment was bloody clean!

My building manager, who oddly turns on the charm when other people are around, does the walk-through. She's says its really clean, but claims they will have do to an hour or two of tidying. As it is only $10 an hour, I figure it's not worth disputing, and sign for that.

Today, I get back my damage deposit in the mail... or what's left of it.

They claimed to have spent an extra 9 hours cleaning my apartment!

Let's get this straight:
#1- It was CLEAN! The manager actually complemented me on it!
#2- After I left, they were painting the walls, replacing all the carpet, flooring, and fixtures, and recaulking and possibly regrouting the tub. How could they have had to clean for 9 hours when they were ripping the entire place up anyways?
#3- I have on my signed form that the bathtub is in good shape. I also overheard the manager tell potential tenants that they were going to have to re-do the bathtub because of the stains and such... it's a really old building, and the tub had mildew on it since I moved in that wouldn't come off with any of the cleaners I used. I certainly didn't moldify the entire tub myself over the past 3 years- then why was I charged $50 for cleaning it (at an even higher rate than the other cleaning!)

I feel like the saga of this evil bastard is never ending. It's a hard one, because $120 is enough to really bother me, but not enough for me to dedicate an insane amount of time to getting it back. I have emailed the residential tenancy office for advice, as I have a signed piece of paper which says that pretty much the entire apartment was in good shape and only approximately hour or two of cleaning was needed.

I'm also pretty convinced that $120 would be about the cost of primer for my apartment, and the owner was just determined to get that money out of me in one way or another when the direct route wouldn't work.



Airam said...

What a bitch! I hope that you find a way to get that money back.

Ant said...

What was the exact wording of the document that you signed? Did it say "An hour or two", or "approximately" anywhere? If it did, then you can challenge that - no-one would reasonably assume that that equates to 9 hours.

If it doesn't specify anywhere then I'd just leave it.

But it is so so sooo irritating that these folk get away with this. Banking on you not having the energy to reclaim an amount like that is exactly how they make their cash - then roll about in it naked with satan. The bastards.

Crashdummie said...

Omg that sounds awful. Its just not the money, it’s a matter of principles! Agree with airam – hope you get a way to get ur money back.

SMARTBuddy said...

Yeah Im with crashdummie; its the principle. Dont let them get away with it. Id be so mad!

Princess Extraordinaire said...

What a pain in the ass - I am sorry you have to deal with that

LMizzle said...

This woman is obviously insane! When I moved into my apartment it was pretty dusty, so I hope to high hell that I don't have to go through some big stupid fight to get my damage deposit back. Well that and the fact that an old tenant upstairs broke a window and got his whole damage deposit back without a hitch....wtf!!

Lin-Zed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lin-Zed said...

I lived in Montreal for 4 years, the vast majority of it in apartments owned by a notorious slum lord that stressed us out on a regular basis.
A friend of mine also had this landlord, we'll call him BEB (Beady Eyed Bastard). My friend goes to sign the lease and he and BEB are standing outside the apartment discussing the $300 damage deposit BEB wants.
My friend is concerned about getting back the damage deposit on termination of the lease, and BEB is being completely evasive and sketchy about it. And so my friend looks BEB in the eye, and then looks at BEB's brand new sports car and says..."well I suppose if we have any problems, it won't be too difficult to take $300 out of your car." And then proceeds to laugh like a crazy person.
While my roommates and I had continual problems with BEB, my friend never heard a peep, never had a single problem. BEB was even friendly to him. Unfortunately, I don't think I'd ever have the courage to deal with the situation like that.

Anonymous said...

Dealing with building managers and landlords is the worst. It's great how they reward you for being a good tenant.