Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Apartment Management Madness

You'd think after the door-mangling incident, I'd learn not to call our apartment management for anything, but our lease ended.  We had to talk to them.  Believe me, stabbing my own eyes out sounded more pleasant than dealing with them.  We tried to be open-minded and hoped for the best.

They sent us a letter early last month indicating our lease was about to end, and we responded that we'd like to take out another six-month lease.  We could have signed a new year-long lease and received $200 off our first month of rent, but we don't hope to be in the apartment that much longer.  Several days (a week?) passed, we finally got their paperwork, we signed it, and returned it as soon as we could.  That was the last we heard about our lease.  We never received a signed copy back from them.  I usually write the rent check as I'm the first one that remembers, but I didn't remember exactly what our new [an arm, leg, and severed head] rate would be.  Since I was off taking my tortilla-making class with Mom, The Man took the checkbook up to the complex office and wrote the rent check.

Let's just say that our rent used to be $800/month.  It wasn't, thankfully, but we're rounding here.  We get a discount (since I work for a very large employer in our town) of $20/month.  That meant we paid $780 each month.  With me so far?

The management raised our rent, shock and awe entirely missing on my part, by about $20 or $30/month (that's the part I don't remember).  That means our new rate would be $820-$830, but with the $20 discount we would only be paying $800-$810/month.  Not a huge bump, not something we can't afford.  The math?  Easy peasy, right?

Oh no.  Nothing could possibly be that easy with our apartment complex.  The woman working in the office informed The Man that we get a $200 discount for signing a new lease, not the $20 discount we usually get, and that we can't double-discount in any given month.  He wrote the check for the amount she told him and thought no more about it.  When I got home and saw the check stub, I knew there was a problem.  We don't get the discount for signing a six-month lease.  We only get the $20-off for my discount.  We had not paid the full amount we owe based on our rental agreement that we just signed (of which we still don't have a copy).

Well, piss!

I called the complex office as soon as I could on Monday to sort the whole thing out.  The woman I spoke to was not the same woman that helped The Man write the incorrect amount on the check.  This woman is typically mean, snarky, generally disingenuous... a real pleasant lady.  And by "pleasant" I mean making me want to stab my eyeballs out (see first paragraph).  What follows is as accurate as I can remember our conversation:

Me:  "Hi, I'm calling to let you know that my husband was down at your office this weekend to write our rent check and was told an incorrect amount.  We don't qualify for the $200 discount since we signed a six-month lease, but we do still get the $20 discount.  I know we need to send more money, but I don't know how you'd like us to go about doing that.  Since you never returned a signed copy of our lease, I don't know what the total amount should be."

Lady:  "Oh, let me check your file.  Yes, I see that your husband made a mistake, you don't get two discounts in one month."

Me:  "Yes, I know that.  That's why I'm calling you.  Your coworker told him the wrong amount."

Lady: "You need to give us more money than what you wrote the check for."

Me:  "Yes, that's why I'm calling."

Lady:  "See, when you signed the new lease your rent went up, and now you owe more money that you did before."

Me:  "Yes, I understand that.  We were told an incorrect amount, and I just need to know how much to write the new check for."

Lady:  "You don't get the $200 discount, so you shouldn't have written the check for that amount.  You only get one discount in one month, so you can't use both the $200 discount and the $20 discount."

Me:  "Yes, I understand that we don't get the discount, that's why I'm trying to talk to someone.  How would you like us to make up the difference?  An additional check or a replacement check?"

Lady:  "No, you don't understand, your husband was mistaken, you don't get a discount, and you need to pay us more than what you paid us."

Me:  "Okay, yes, it was entirely my husband's fault that he went down to your office, was told the incorrect amount, assumed that he would be given accurate information from management, and wrote a check for less than what we owe.  It's my fault for calling to settle up as any honest person should, for hoping that you could see the error your coworker made, and for confusing you with simple questions.  Please return my check, and I will write you a new check for the correct amount by tomorrow so that you can't charge us any late fees."

Lady:  "I'll have to search around for your check if you want it to be returned.  We charge late fees starting the day after tomorrow, so you must get the check to us as soon as we open tomorrow so that we have time to process it.  You should read your lease paperwork more carefully next time so that you don't make these kind of mistakes again."

Me:  "Of course.  Thank you."  -click-

*repeatedly stabs eyeballs with any available blunt instrument*

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