Monday, March 24, 2008

Dear Leasing Office...

I am a current resident of Connor Farms Aparment Complex. I realize that you are employees of the management company that took over about halfway though my time at this complex (NTS), and I realize that with a new management company comes changes, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you've done since you've been in charge.

Thank you for your superb work in de-icing the complex during the cold winter months. Most people would see your approach of leaving the ice on the roads and sidewalks until the sun has a chance to melt it as irresponsible, but I see that as an ingenius way to save money. After all, the only people who are out before the sun is up are people who work 40 hours per week and really, how many of those can there be? And surely people ALWAYS obey the speed limit signs posted in the complex...20mph isn't fast enough to slide on ice and cause an accident, right?

You did plow the complex promptly, though. I will give you that. I just think that perhaps the decision to pile the snow behind the cars parked in the parking spaces may not have been the best idea. Luckily I can see that you're just looking out for your residents' best interest by encouraging them to buy an AWD SUV to be prepared for those snowy Indiana winters. Lord knows the rent you're charging is so low, all residents can afford a higher car payment.

And thanks for ignoring the weather report that predicts below-freezing temperatures the night after a good rain. There's no need to put salt down when there's only a possibility of ice, right? Surely those weather forecasters have no idea what they're talking about. Besides, freezing temperatures don't really matter when the precipitation is already on the ground, do they? What's the worst that could happen? That pesky black ice on the sidewalks will only affect dog walkers in the morning, and if they break a leg, maybe they'll have to get rid of their dogs.

Speaking of dogs in the complex, I would like to mention how much I really appreciate your smooth transition from the openly dog friendly policy of the previous management company to your own somewhat less open policy about dogs. I can only assume that you're eventually not going to allow dogs at all. Personally, I think this passive aggressive approach to changing the policy works MUCH better than just straightforward communication with residents who have lived in the complex with their dogs for years. Specific examples that I find particularly ingenius include:

- Installing doggie trash bag dispensers and then not refilling them when they are empty (added bonus points for telling residents that the bags are "on order" when they call to inquire about this issue. Luckily, this "on order" idea is completely valid for up to 8 months at a time.)
- Removing all trash cans located around the complex during the winter so that they won't "get filled with rainwater or snow" and dog owners have nowhere to put the dog waste that is picked up.
- Sending out threatening letters when dog owners aren't picking up their dog waste after not providing bags or trash receptacles for this purpose.
- Increasing pet costs mid-lease, and adding additional pet fees "per pet" when previously there was one flat rate paid at the beginning of the lease.

I also particularly enjoy your approach to apartment maintenance. Luckily I have plenty of time during the workday to call your office several times to speak to a leasing agent after learning that my messages will not be returned. My job is not that important...I would much rather be on hold listening to the recorded message telling me about the great apartment community in which I live. I also appreciate when I submit a maintenance request and specifically mention that the maintenance person must contact me to arrange a time to enter the apartment (due to the aforementioned dogs - one in particular) only to have the maintenance men enter my apartment at will and leave a note about how nothing could be inspected due to the presence of dogs. Once we get that all straightened out, it's particuarly comforting when I report potential fire hazards, and after an initial inspection of the problem the maintenance men never return to correct the issue. It's exciting when I report the issue again, only to have the process repeated with a NEW maintenance person. It's like a thrilling game of "guess who will show up next." And don't worry, I have no problem submitting the same request multiple times. I just think that ten is a little excessive, don't you?

On the upside, I really appreciate the monthly "Resident Appreciation Weeks." I can only assume that the free breakfasts and pizza dinners are wonderful to attend. Scheduling them on weekdays between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm is a great idea. EVERYONE should be in the apartment complex during those hours. After all, what else would they be doing?

I received the letter you posted on my door about renewing our lease. Unfortunately, I regret to inform you that I will not be renewing my lease for another year. Despite all the wonderful policies in place at your complex, I believe my needs will be better met elsewhere. Thank you for providing a standard of competence that will never be equaled.

Sincerely, Emily

PS. I have no idea who has been leaving bags of dog waste in front of the door to the leasing office. I would think that perhaps when the trash cans are replaced, that issue will end. Maybe you should just be grateful that they're not being left in the rent drop box.


The Carrels said...

My My...we're not passive aggressive are we?!?!?

I love it though...

Carrie said...

As the manager of an apartment complex, it's interesting to read your complaints. One thing I DO have to say is that the weather was really tricky to predict this year. I had my maintenance guys all ready for several "huge" snows that never even came. And then, there were the ones that completely crept up on us. Unfortunately, there was a day where we also did have to let the sun take care of the sheet of ice last month because it hit us out of no where in the middle of the night, and when my guys got in the next morning it was so solid that they couldn't break it with their shovels. I do feel bad for the residents when this kind of stuff happens. If only we had crystal balls!

alisa said...

Amen! I particularly like it when they plow all of the snow right behind your car when you live in an end unit at the end of the street. I guess they know about my superhero ability to get rid of 8 feet of snow ... did you tell them?

AnnD said...

I love you! Seriously. Brilliance. I think you should send this to them after you leave! Or perhaps leave a copy of it in everyone else's mailbox who live at that complex. If I lived there, I would definitely be riled up and ready to fight right now.
PS--I'm all about new photography assignments. I would love to take some of you and Nate! Just let me know...

Anonymous said...

Oh and you shouldn't forget the part where there making the inspection so convenient for pet owners. I thoroughly enjoy being told I have to either crate (which I don't do), board my dog ( least going to cost me $80+ and a kennel cough shot of which he'll he'll surely get kennel cough he always does and hear come the vet bills on top of that!) Oh, or I can drive 90 minutes each way twice with gas at how much??? Why??? All because they can't possibly estimate what buildings they might do on a given day. Sure 4 days without my dog at my expense is appropriate. Signed, pretty much a happy tenant till now! PS: Oh and I agree about no trash cans and the bags have been empty for months.