The MFA Answer Box: Problems with Packages, Pools, Cats, GF and Building’s Rules

Every so often, we run a feature on MFA where we’ll give a lucky reader (okay, a reader who nicely emails us!) our take on his/her apartment problem.

This week, we respond to Lee in Texas who’s wondering if he’s being too sensitive. . . or if he actively needs to find new living arrangements. Lee writes:

I have been staying in my apartment for almost two years now and overall it’s been okay. However…lately there’s been a few things that have bothered me:

 1. Whenever I have packages delivered to the apartment they put them in the office to be picked up later. I really have no problem with this, except that I work Monday through Saturday and the office is closed when I get off work. The assistant manager is usually very nice about this but the last two times I called I got the manager who was rude and hung up on me as I was wishing her a good day (!).

2. When I moved in one of the amenities was that there was a pool and hot tub. I’ve (again) lived here almost two years and never enjoyed either one. The hot tub was filled with cement and done away with before I ever got to use it. The lease said that the pool area was open everyday but Monday (which was the day for cleaning) but it seemed to always be closed.

3. The pet deposit when I moved in was $250. I was considering getting a cat since I live alone. But after problems with other tenants not cleaning up after their pets the deposit has been raised to $500.

4. They have a strict guest allowance where you can’t have anyone stay over more than two consecutive nights and no more than four nights a month total. Violating this is grounds for eviction. This bothers me because I’m dating someone from far out of town and I work six days a week.

5. They’re about to enforce resident vehicle stickers and have set up guest parking zones to help enforce #4 above and any vehicle parked outside of the guest area will be towed.

My question is should I begin to look for another apartment? Or am I just being sensitive?

In a word: No.  You are not too sensitive. There is so much wrong with your management company’s rules, I’m making an angry fist for you as I write.  If you can find a new place to live and get out of your lease, then do so.

If not, examine your lease closely. Admittedly, I’m not an expert on landlord/tenant law, but if they promised you something in the lease document that you are not getting, you should have some leverage, at least in terms of your monthly rent. Also, check out if your city has services that help tenants on lease issues.

But moving is a pain, so before you get too carried away – go talk to your management company about your concerns. If the assistant manager is usually nice, then search her out first. It seems that the monthly visitor issue is the most pressing, so start there.  You can wait to get a cat if need be, but us ladies are not so patient:)

The package issue sounds like a quicker fix, so that should be easily enough dealt afterwards.  Check out if you could have packages sent to your work until you get the delivery resolved with the building.

A last resort would be talking with your neighbors for their thoughts/help.  (Maybe you even find someone nice enough to hold your packages for you when the office is closed.)  But first play nice, you’ll have more success with sugar.

Author My First Apartment
Alissa

Posted by

I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.