Friday, August 08, 2008

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Property Managers

I'm sure that mothers everywhere want the best things in life for their children. What's the point of gestating a baby for nine months, raising them through childhood and paying for their college tuition just so they can grow up to be the property manager of our new coop apartment? I'm sure the mother of our property manager asks herself this question every single day of her life.

Right before we closed on our apartment, we did what the real estate biz calls a "walk-through." Which is basically a formality of walking through the apartment, making sure that everything turns on and nothing has fallen apart from the time you looked at it and the day you are officially the new owner.

This is usually a formality, but during our walk-through, water was leaking everywhere -- out of the bathroom sink, gallons of water poured from the dishwasher and the bottom of the kitchen sink, it was a NIGHTMARE.

Of course I got completely freaked out and I was literally shaking as I sat in the law office where our closing was scheduled. When my attorney walked in, I told her that I needed to speak to her privately, and when I told her the problem, she said to me, "Well, there's nothing you can do about this. We're closing right now."

Just so you know, don't hire our real estate attorney. (I won't mention names, but her initials are CM and she works out of Mount Kisco). This was the last thing I needed to hear, especially from someone we pay to be OUR advocate. Because I ended up having to do the negotiations to get the seller's attorney to ensure that this stuff would be fixed -- while our attorney was chit-chatting with the bank's attorney about the last time they all went fishing together. At one point, the seller's attorney (who was the building's attorney, since we bought the unit straight from the building) said, "That sounds to me like it's just a gasket. Sometimes when a sink isn't used for a few months, the gasket gets loose."

My useless attorney who still uses an aol mail account for her law business says, "Yeah, y'know it's probably a GASKET."

I was shaking with anger at this point and I'm usually a very nice person, but push me to this limit and all I can say is that I let her HAVE IT. I turned to her and said in a very slow and calm voice, "I would appreciate it if you don't try to ARGUE FOR THE OTHER SIDE. You are OUR ATTORNEY. I would appreciate it if you would SIDE WITH US."

A hush fell over the whole room.

FINALLY, we got it sorted out that the building would take care of the plumbing issues, which is all we wanted. I don't know who they sent, but we're still having trouble with our bathroom sink and the water from our kitchen tap comes out hot -- on both sides. It's been about a month since closing and just yesterday some new plumbers came over and took a look under the kitchen sink and told us that all the hook-ups were done incorrectly and that no hot water was coming into the dishwasher.

I emailed our property manager, who on his nicest day is a putz, and he didn't reply. So I called him today and asked him if he was going to give the okay to fix the dishwasher.

"I'm debating it," he said.

"What do you mean by that?" I asked. I mean, what does he mean by that? I'm debating it? Does that mean -- yes, I know that I should have this problem fixed, but I don't want to?

"Your problem was that the dishwasher was leaking. It's not leaking anymore, is it?"

"But nothing is hooked up correctly under the sink. We're getting hot water on both taps and apparently, there's only cold water going into the dishwasher."

"That's because we got one of the newer ENERGY EFFICIENT dishwasher which has its own heating system so that you don't need to have hot water going into it."

"I know about those ENERGY EFFICIENT dishwasher and it's more ENERGY EFFICIENT to wash the dishes with HOT WATER than to have to HEAT COLD WATER to wash the dishes."


"I don't have a problem going to the board with this issue, I'm sure they'll side with me with the fact that you had agreed to FIX THE PROBLEM, which means not just ensuring that the dishwasher doesn't leak, but that IT WORKS."

Dealing with this property manager is kind of like dealing with my younger cousins growing up. Everything is a struggle until I say, "I'm going to tell your parents." And then all of a sudden, it's like the sun breaks out of the clouds. Because as soon as I mention going to the board, this guy is all nice as can be and all "of course we need to fix your dishwasher."

Peter's ready to call it quits with this guy and just hire our own plumber because the aggravation isn't worth it, but I'm all like, "But there's a PRINCIPLE here! THEY agreed to fix it!"

And Peter's all, "Arguing with this jerk is a WASTE OF LIFE."

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