Apartment Woes


3d render of sacles isolated on white

And the saga continues.

When I returned home from the East Coast, I responded to the assistant manager’s request to meet in her office regarding the list of complaints I had e-mailed, including the most recent regarding my in-laws being required to sign a lease that they could neither read nor understand. My response was this:

“I have finally returned. Again, I appreciate your offer to discuss things. However, after getting consultation on this issue, I have made the decision to reject the idea of a meeting. All future communication that I have with the leasing office will be done either via e-mail or letter. Please feel free to send anything you would say to me via one of those methods.”

Evidently the only thing that the assistant manager had to say was “Understood.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday.” That’s it. Either the assistant manager doesn’t really care (which I actually doubt) or she is wary of putting anything in writing at this point (as she should be).

Since I was not getting any adequate redress for my concerns I did two things, that are more than well within my right – 1) I posted a review of Shorewood Heights on http://www.apartmentratings.com and 2) I filed an official complaint with the appropriate authority.

What has surprised me more than anything was a response that I received to my review. This person has their opinion of the place, which is one thing but there are at least two fundamental errors in this response.

First, the responder makes the assumption that we did no due diligence before renting the apartment (IMO this is actually the renter’s version of blaming the victim). This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We investigated many housing options several weeks before arriving in the Seattle area, talked to people that we knew in the area and read all of the reviews regarding all possible choices. Not only that, we were working with a relocation agent who was also providing information on the various locations.

I admit. We did make a mistake in this process. We knew full well that Shorewood Heights did not have good reviews before we signed on the dotted line. Although we knew of the complaints of some previous and current residents, we decided to go ahead and choose Shorewood Heights because of the area and specifically because of the low crime rate on Mercer Island. We gambled and we lost. It’s a mistake we won’t make again.

Second, the person who responded to the review basically tied all of the issues together in the nice little complacent package of “life isn’t always fair.” Of course life isn’t fair. However life not being fair has absolutely nothing to do with the decisions that a company or management makes in regards to how they treat their residents and customers. Yes, we can very much agree that those managerial choices are not fair – problem is that in some circumstances, they’re possibly not even legal.

I mean, who reading this blog would support that a person who is deemed disabled but cannot park in a disabled parking space because it is blocked on more than one occasion by employees – well, that person should just take their lumps and remember that life isn’t fair? Or that life just isn’t fair when someone is made to sign a legally binding document when it is well known that the person can neither read nor understand what they’re signing? What type of person actually believes that?

Opinions like this allow injustice to exist. Complacency & Apathy = Permission.

Rage against it, y’all.

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