Monday, July 16, 2012

This post should be about homeschooling, but isn't...

I was prepared to write a post all about our plans for the upcoming school year, but instead, I'm writing about home repairs again!

I've had this song going through my mind for a couple of weeks now - pretty much every time I think about the state of our apartment, and my landlords neglect of damage and repairs due to water leaks from two floors above... "We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place" by The Animals

Our ridiculous landlord and his handyman have some odd ideas about repairing water damage.  Grrr....  For the third time in less than two years, we have had major water damage in our apartment, and each time it has come from above.  Apparently the person that lives two apartments above us is prone to getting drunk, turning on the water, and passing out before turning off the water. soaks through her floors, down between the walls and into the apartment between hers and mine, and then eventually into mine.

First, the damage resulted in a chunk of the bedroom ceiling collapsing onto my son's bed (thankfully he wasn't in the bed at the time!), and part of the bedroom and bathroom walls having to be replaced.  It took them MONTHS to do the repairs!  The damage occurred in August of last year, but wasn't finally repaired until November of last year!

Then, in December, there was another water leak above and around the shower and bathroom sink, with odors of mold in the closet immediately next to the bathroom.  That wasn't repaired until January, and the repair guy said he couldn't smell the mold, therefore it must not be there, and he wasn't going to do anything about it.  He merely plastered over the damaged spots on the bathroom ceiling and wall, and painted over them.
Oh, and did I mention that since we moved in, up until January, we had NO smoke or carbon monoxide detectors despite my repeatedly calling the landlord?  I finally bought my own...  This is where one of them was supposed to be installed BEFORE our moving in:
Then, a month ago (mid-June), I started to hear the sound of dripping, then pouring water, and the (finally installed) smoke alarm chirpping.  I went down the hall to find water pouring out from the smoke alarm and the channel where it was wired in, plus the ceiling in the hall began to crack and drip.  The bathroom wall was again showing water damage, and TWO closets had water leaking into them.  The super of our building came up, looked at the damage, and turned off power to half our apartment as the smoke alarms were now going off constantly and couldn't be reset. Then, he left. I had already called the landlord/management company several times (as I also had in the two previous instances), but to no avail. They said, "We've called a repair person, and that's as much as we are going to do. Our duty is over.  He'll be there eventually."  Eventually was more than three week later, and only after I threatened to withhold rent and sue if they didn't get repairs done.  By this point, the odor of mold was so bad that I was having minor asthma attacks and had to shove towels around the two closet doors to block the odor from coming out around the doors.  And, if you opened the closets you could see the mold too.
Water leaking from the hall ceiling.

Mold and water damage in the closet - and it has gotten worse since this photo.
The crack in the ceiling - it has recracked since being "repaired."
These are just a few pictures of the current damage.  There are a bunch more of mold throughout the closets, the sagging bathroom wall, and so on. 

A repair guy finally came out, and assessed the damage.  He said he would get drywall, paint, and supplies and be back...but only AFTER taking care of the lady two floors up and her damage. He came last week, but did NOT bring any drywall.  Instead, he just brought some plaster and paint.  He did NOT do anything to clean the mold which is widespread in the two closets, and merely painted over them.  The places that he plastered over have all cracked again, and the original damage is still there.

This apartment, and building, and neighborhood could be great, but the landlord and his handy man suck.  Why wouldn't they do the repairs the right way from the start? Why not do something about legally getting the lady that has caused all three leaks out of the building?  If she's caused three major water leaks, it stands to reason that she'll cause more!   

Meanwhile, my son, the dog, and I have been living with half the power in our apartment off for more than a month now, mold in the closets, and so on.  The landlord doesn't seem to care, and the repair guy has yet to come back to install a new smoke alarm which he promised he would do today (it's 1230pm...he promised to be here around 9am).  
Because the power is off to half the apartment, this is what I had to do to keep the refrigerator running! Dangerous, right?
And, I can't afford to move.  I want to move, but that requires putting up first and last months rent, plus a deposit, and depending on how you find an apartment, possibly a broker's fee.  It could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 to move.  I work hard, and do a lot of things to bring in money, but how do I manage that in just two weeks...becuase, oh yeah, our lease is up at the end of the month.  I had originally planned to renew it.  I still can renew it, but I'd rather not.  These problems are likely to keep happening.

(This post has been edited, and irrelevant parts removed.)


And, guess what??? I'm updating the very day I posted this because we started inspecting the rest of the apartment and there a bunch of new cracks in the living room ceiling too!  What is going on????  Ugh!  We really need to move!

UPDATED AGAIN:  WOW!  You are bringing me to tears with your kindness and generosity, especially after we just found our first EVER cockroach IN our apartment.  We've seen all of three in the last two years, and they were in the basement...nowhere near our apartment, and suddenly we have one IN our apartment???

And, thanks especially to Dawn.  Your comment/advice is so right!  I'm hoping to talk to a realtor/broker/agent tomorrow - there is one on the way to my job.


  1. Leave. Now. Pack your stuff before it gets ruined, print out these pictures, and start hitting apartment complexes, or better yet call a realtor who does property management and SHOW THEM THE PICTURES. Explain that this is what you've been living with, you weren't prepared to move (as in all the money up front) but you have to for your health and maybe, just maybe, they can find a better situation for you with an understanding, responsible landlord. Mold can be really nasty and it can make you sick. Don't renew that lease! Put your stuff in storage or a friend's garage and borrow a couch to sleep on if need be. Yikes! Get out of there!

  2. since those are dangerous things you can report it to the health department and they will sendsomeone out right away.You can also take them to court for breaking the lease and not keeping things safe. You can get back rent plus moving expenses. I just did it, so I know. Good luck.


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