Indistinct Mumblings of an Unsound Mind

So, let’s start at the beginning with San Clemente Apartments.

They are located at:
7640 S Power Road
Gilbert, AZ 85297

We first moved in to San Clemente Apartments about 3 years ago. When we moved in, we were excited to be moving to a good looking set of apartments that were just up the street from my babysitters, the VA Clinic, and in a nice neighborhood. The apartments were clean, security was out during the entire night, and there was a large park within walking distance for my children and I.

After we moved in, there were some issues. Firstly, we were informed by their agent, Homar, that Qwest (Now CenturyLink) provided service to the apartment complex. That was a lie. At that time Qwest did not provide service there, and the only available provider was Ygnition.

Ygnition’s idea of high-speed data was a single T1 line to be shared by the entire complex. Even at times when there was little to no usage, the maximum speed you could obtain was 1.5mbps, provided not another person in the entire complex was using the internet at that time.

So, after a year of service with Ygnition, we had called and posted these occurrences online enough times that they made us an offer: Stop calling, and we will give you free service until we upgrade our  systems in your complex. Good enough. Three months later Qwest became available.

Qwest we had multiple issues with. There were numerous times when they would throttle, which means to deliberately slow down, our data speeds. Often to the point where we were achieving less than 0.25kbps per seconds. After a few months that was cleared up, and to be fair, that is not San Clemente’s fault, so I will save you the headache. Just know that Centurylink has taken over qwest, and nothing seems to have changed.

After moving in, I was placed in the Caregiver Program, which is ran by the Veterans Administration.  When they approve you for care, they have to do an in-home inspection, at which time they go over your home for potential safety issues. Here’s a list of the items that were discussed, brought to the attention of the apartment complex, and never fixed.

Handrail improperly connected to wall.
-The handrail was actually warped.  To repair it they would anchor it on one end, and by the end of the day the
opposite end would disengage from the wall.

The stair coverings were not attached.
-The rubber stair treads would actually come off, and despite having holes for screws, they maintenance crew simply
wood-glued them to the carpet. 

The wire-shelving in the closet was mounted incorrectly.
-This resulted in the shelving falling down, breaking some of our personal belongings. When it was repaired, the
maintenance crew drilled a hole every 3/4″  in a horizontal line until they located a stud to anchor it to.

The freezer leaked into the refrigerator.
-We had to keep a pan on the top shelf of our fridge to catch the water and dump it out.

The condenser unit on the freezer was malfunctioning and alternated between dripping and freezing
 -Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep fresh vegetables or other foods because of this. Their solution was to defrost the
freezer. The maintenance man stated that the fridge needed to be replaced, but that it would not happen until after we
moved out. We dealt with this for 2 years.

The water heater had a blown element.
-Basically, we couldn’t take a hot shower without going out to the water heater 30 minutes ahead of time and resetting
it. A lot of our dishes had to be re-washed due to the fact that the dishwasher had no hot water. At one point we
actually just washed everything by hand to save on electricity because the hot water was so unreliable. Their idea of
fixing this was to adjust the temperature on the upper and lower heating elements. That fixed nothing, and after filing
numerous reports via their online maintenance scheduling systems, we gave up. Again, this went on for just as long as
the freezer issues.

This is just a few of the problems encountered while we lived there. There was also a problem with bee infestations, animal feces all over the place, and the pool being closed down repeatedly for no apparent reason, not to mention the multiple times it had to be closed due to other tenants defecating in it.

Now that we’ve moved out, there are even more problems.

I will start by saying we did not leave the apartment perfectly clean.  The drip pans on the stove needed to be replaced, the oven had not been cleaned, and as previously mentioned the Freezer/Refrigerator was not cleaned as we were informed that it was going to be replaced. Three vertical blind slats needed replacing, as well as the entire vertical blind in the master bedroom.

I will also say that I did clean. I vacuumed the carpet, swept and mopped the floor, scrubbed the counters in the kitchen, detailed the bathroom’s sinks, floors, toilet, faucets, mirrors, showerheads, bathtub, and even the little bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. We went through the entire house with two boxes of magic erasers. We changed all the lightbulbs from our CFLs to the original, incandescent lights and I cleaned the lighting fixtures and the fan blades. I swept and dumped water on the back patio to clear out all the dust that built up over the past 6 months (I usually do that about every 6 months).

Admittedly, it was not perfect. But the only unclean items were the ones that I specifically listed. I grew up in a children’s home where people came through on tours daily. Aside from that I was in the military: I know clean, and everything I did clean was impeccable. Polishing doorknobs and all.

So, when we only received $90-ish from a total of $500 in deposits, my flabber was gasted. I was expecting a number of the charges, such as the cleaning fee for the oven and the replacement blinds. However, the real thing that irritated me was their billing $150 for cleaning the floors of “pet residue.”

When we put pets on our lease, we had to pay a pet fee in addition to a pet deposit. We were informed the pet fee was specifically to the required cleaning for an apartment that has had pets, in case the next tenants have allergies, or some other plausible situation. We were also informed that the pet deposit was for any material damages incurred by the pets, and should there be no damages, the deposit would be refunded in full.

Being as it was already clearly indicated that the carpets were both in-tact and going to be replaced by the apartment, and that we would not be billed for the costs, I was confused. To begin with, the aforementioned pet fee should have covered any costs incurred for pet cleaning. Not to mention that I cleaned the entire house, top to bottom, with the exception of items noted above.

When I inquired about this, the representative stated that they had walked through the apartment using a blacklight to detect any pet fluids, and had found the floor needed cleaning. Now that made sense to me for a right second, until I remembered that a number of other things glow under a blacklight, such as Laundry Detergents, Household Cleaners, Floor Detergents, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, and pretty much any other cleaner you could think of. Even Irish Spring soap glows under a blacklight.

That means that everything I cleaned, from the floors and the walls to the ceiling, all showed up under a blacklight. Obviously this test is a sham, and I would wager that the apartment complex already knew that and is banking on the average person not knowing this as well.

Being semi-polite (I obviously wasn’t in the mood to be extremely polite), and reminding them that I had our entire conversation about move-out on video with consent, I asked the office staff to look into this and call me back. Today I received the return call. Joy, the new apartment manager, wants to sit down and talk with me about this before I bring it to court.

She, of course, denied everything. I recorded it, like I do all my phone calls. Arizona is a one-party consent stateHere’s the link to our phone call today, which can be downloaded and played via VLC player. In it, she tried to scare me out of posting this information by claiming it was defamation. Which it is not. To be “defamatory,” a statement must be false and bring the defamed person into disrepute, contempt, or ridicule, or impeach her honesty, integrity, virtue, or reputation. 

Once I informed her that it was my intent to post this information online, she abruptly refused to work with me, even going so far as to ask me what the point in working with me would be. Apparently it is acceptable to Joy that she is not in alignment with the law, provided that her company is benefiting monetarily. At least, that’s what her reaction would imply. Think about it, her words imply that I’m not going to return the deposits to you that are legally yours because you hold a unsatisfactory opinion about my business. I wonder what would happen if all things were allowed to run this way?

I will post later with an update regarding how this was handled.

Categories: Business

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