I have a new found love of writing people letters when I think they have been completely stupid. I get all fired up, shoot off a couple pages and feel better about the situation. Here is such an example:
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is my notification to you that I will be vacating apartment 345 of XXXXXXXXXX prior to September 1, 2011. I will remain in the apartment through July and August, paying my normal rent rate of $XXX.XX and, upon leaving the property, will pay an addition $XXX.XX fee for the breaking of my lease agreement. This will effectively cover the 60 day notification as well as the addition fee required when breaking a lease agreement.
While I would have rather stayed on the property and simply moved from the third floor to a first floor apartment, I was told it would be a $500.00 fee. Upon my initial move-in (May 2010), I was told that if an apartment on the first floor came open or I needed an additional room for a possible future roommate I would need to pay a transfer fee of $250.00. I thought $250.00 was a bit much, yet acceptable. A fee of $500.00 to transfer on property, from one apartment to another, is, however, absolutely absurd and quite an embarrassing thing for you to ask. I was told that if I wait until September, the fee could be lowered to $250.00, which was confusing and made not sense to me at all.
When I pressured for an explanation of a) why a $500 fee was necessary and b) why it would be lower in September than it would be in August, I was told a number of reasons: 1) I was, whether I saw it this way or not, breaking my lease even if I stayed on property; 2) would effectively be creating two apartments for them to prepare for rental – the one that I was moving into and the one that I was moving out of; 3) third floor apartments are more difficult to rent and that you currently have a number of third floor apartments either open or becoming available.
Here are my thoughts on 1 – 3:
1. In my eyes, and I’m willing to bet every other tenant’s eyes currently on property, when I signed my lease it was with XXXXXXXXX, LLC. Not apartment 345. Either way, I am breaking my lease with the company and the apartment. To me it’s one in the same.
2. Well, yes, there would be two apartments being prepared if I were to move into another one. The logical problem with this is that one of those is already going to be in need of preparing whether I move into it or not. Regardless of whether or not I move into an open apartment, your company will still need to prepare the vacant one for rental. However, since I will no longer be staying in the apartment I am currently in, you will indeed have two properties to prepare for rental!
3. I do agree that third floor apartments are harder to rent. I chose the one I am in because of the recent updates that had been made. I realize you will have no problem renting the one bedroom on the first floor that is coming open in August. It will go fast and may already be gone. But now you will have an additional, hard to rent, 3rd floor apartment to add to the ones that are already vacant.
I do not mean to be vindictive or make a big issue out of something that will turn out to be insignificant to both of us. I just want to point out the ridiculousness of asking a good, loyal tenant that would wish to stay on property, to pay a $500 dollar fee for a simple move.
What, you may ask, makes me a good, loyal tenant? Well, I would be glad to explain.
1) To begin, I have paid my rent every month on or before the 1st. Since the deadline is the 3rd of each month, it has not only been on time every month, it has been early. You have never had to worry about the guy in 345 paying his bill on time.
2) I have only called to report a problem one time and that time was because of a mouse in my house. The mouse would get on my counter, knock my bread into the floor, burrow his way through the plastic covering, and effectively created a tunnel down the middle of the pieces of bread. At first, as I have no real fear of mice, I thought this was kind of funny. But after I was awakened by the ‘plop’ sound that bread makes as it hits the floor from a 4 ½ foot drop time and again, and after the hassle and cost of replacing ruined bread a few times, I decided it was not funny and it was time to inform your staff that you may have a few extra residents that I thought you might not want staying here anymore. As it turned out, your staff did not think it was that big of a problem and since the exterminator had just come a few days prior, I was told I had two options – either wait for his return or try to eliminate the problem myself. It was actually suggested to me that I could catch the mouse and release him to live free on the Katy Trail.
Being from a small town where the value of a mouse life is not equal to that of the time and effort it was going to take me to capture and release a mouse, (and especially not worth the price of any more bread) I decided poison was the best option. I do not know if the mouse lived or died. All I know is that my bread has not been disturbed since placing my traps.
Again, while not a big deal, it was and remains interesting to me that I was asked to take care of my own rodent problem. Maybe I should have known then of my value in the eyes of XXXXXXXXX, LLC.
Since then I have not called you to complain about issues. There are, however, a few I would like to point out now. As I won’t be around to see if the following list is ever followed through with, I at least think they should be pointed out for the other tenants sake. Here is a short list for you to consider:
a) The disaster zone that the laundry room turns in to on occasion. My favorite times are when the floors get flooded (either from a leaking washer or from the pouring water that can occasionally be seen coming from the ceiling) and the dryer lint turns into a sort of goo/cloth thing on the floor! Good times!
b) The shaky stairs I must go up and down every day. As I work in the Safety and Health field, this is probably one that I should have reported to you before. But, as the stairs are occasionally cracked and/or broken and since there are about dozen other safety issues on site that I’m shocked you, your bank or your insurance company hasn’t spotted yet, I figured you guys might not really care and if you did care even the slightest, it would still take you until the turn of the next century to get around to fixing. Why would I think it might take you that long to fix it? Well, because of…
c) …the ‘security gate’ that has worked about 5% of the time I have lived here. There is nothing quite like pulling up to your own apartment and not having a decent place to park on a Friday or Saturday evening. I’m thrilled to pay nearly 800 dollars a month for my apartment in Uptown and then letting non-residents take my spot! It’s exhilarating each time I come home on the weekend evenings and play the game of ‘Can I Find a Decent Spot.’ Exciting times! I believe we have actually broken a new streak of non-working time recently. As of writing this letter I think we are well over a month of the gate just standing wide open. It’s good to see that my raised rent has been put to such good use.
Which leads me to my next point…
3) You raised my rent. I argued this at this time it happened but eventually just let it go. I was told my rent was fair market value, but since I am on the third floor, have paid my rent on time every month and have been more or less an ideal tenant, I felt that I was getting screwed. I was told the rent raising was also to help supplement the ‘beautification and repairing’ of the property. I assumed this meant no more problems with the security gate, but again, I was wrong.
I’m not sure I understand the business thought process behind any of this. You have a good renter who, instead of being rewarded (or even just left alone), has his rent raised and then asked to pay an outrageous fee to stay on property. I would think the good renters would be the ones you want to stay on property, but maybe my business sense is off. I guess the bad renters do incur more fees than good renters do, so maybe your business model is the correct one.
I guess I could go on and on, but really, what’s the point. I got to entertain myself with this letter and I am going to go find a nice house with a backyard and about 3 times the space for just a few hundred dollars more a month. I would say the $XXX.XX fee I am going to have to pay is money well spent. If you are still reading this and haven’t wadded it up yet, then I’m sorry if you feel I have wasted your time. In any case, have fun with an addition vacant third floor apartment.
I guess I just do this because it’s cathartic and let’s me put in to words what is bothering me about the situation. In the end, I ended up only sending this.
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is my notification to you that I will be vacating apartment 345 of XXXXXXXXX prior to September 1, 2011. I will remain in the apartment through July and August, paying my normal rent rate of $XXX.XX and, upon leaving the property, will pay an addition $XXX.XX fee for the breaking of my lease agreement. This will effectively cover the 60 day notification as well as the addition fee required when breaking a lease agreement.
Man, way to puss out.