Curbed Horror Stories are firsthand reader reports about terrible Detroit apartment experiences past and present. This week, in honor of Renters' Week, we're having a rental horror story showdown. We'll post one horror story each day with a vote for the best on Thursday. The winner will advance to the national round of our network-wide contest. Horror stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you please.
What follows is a reader account, our third one of the week.
Here's a horror story for you (that just keeps getting worse)...
I'll start with the usual complaints and go from there. Our unit had a god-awful orange and lime color scheme, which was supposed to be white-walled and cleaned before our move in - instead, we had to dispose of the previous tenant's belongings and cover all our stuff while a they slapped white primer on most of the walls. Four months after our move-in, we are still waiting on internet service, as the management company refuses to wire for cable, and five technicians from ATT have found five different reasons the phone wiring is not to code, thus we can't even get DSL (our phone line actually ends dangling in a closet on the second floor of our 40-unit, 3-story building). Our bedroom window is broken, none of the windows are sealed (around the frames), and the roof leaks whenever it is raining. On average, we are without hot water at least one day out of the week, as the company chose to supply the 40-unit building with a water heater that's more suited for a single family home. My partner and I, for some reason, have the only unit in the building (so we're told) with a gas heater, and we only recently got that working - and I had to physically connect the gas lines myself, and turn it on at the meter in the basement which perpetually holds a pool of standing water.
Many of the tenants (specifically the ones who have been there since the building opened) have no concept of etiquette norms when living close to others, and have parties every night of the week, until dawn, with sound systems that rival night clubs (which we have also lived above - and this building is often worse). The building (and my closet, which is separated from our neighbor's living room by only a poorly fit piece of drywall) reeks of bad weed; I've witnessed duffel-bag "deals" right outside our building, several tenants openly carry handguns, and I was almost run over the other day by one of my neighbors doing donuts in the (unpaved, un-level) parking lot. We've been told numerous times that these tenants are being evicted, but it's been 4 months, and we have yet to see evidence of that. Rumors have been circulating about this company not holding certificates of occupancy for their buildings (which is predictably denied by our manager), and this past week an official notice was posted by the city stating unpaid taxes (to the tune of $13k), and that our building was pending foreclosure.
As an aside, my partner and I previously lived in another building owned by this company (so, yes, we knew what we were in for), and we had to deal with white supremacist neighbors blasting hate music and firing guns out their window and drunkenly trying to climb in our window from the fire escape, a nightclub shaking the building every night of the week (even though we were told before move-in that it was only fri/sat), and girls from the strip club on the 1st floor were forced to change clothes in our stairwell (which was falling apart, and covered with ashes, urine, and graffiti... and condoms).
Care to take a wild stab at who manages our building? Ha...ha...
· Food Left From Previous Renter In An Unplugged Fridge [Curbed Detroit]
· Landlord Sends Notices With A Fake 36th District Court Label [Curbed Detroit]