Apr. 28th, 2010

You expect that when you move into an older apartment that a few things will need work. My first clue that there would be more than usual wrong came when the renting agent (who lives in this 8-unit building, in the one bedroom directly below us) told me he recommended the owner not let us move in because we would be "difficult tenants." This was after he had told me the walls would be patched and repainted (since they were badly marked.) I had assumed from conditions that the unit had not been painted for 5 years or more, but in later discussions with the owner, he felt aggrieved because it had been painted two years ago and the current tenants had just been very careless. The owner tried to clean and patch-paint himself, removing many of the marks but leaving the place still marked up. We now get along fine with the owner (a plumber originally from Ulster who lives in Marin) but deal as little as possible with the high-strung gay rental agent Brian.

So it appears Brian's informal management of the building and its tenants (he picks who gets in) revolves around causing as little work for him as possible. Most of the tenants in the larger townhouses are young straight techies in groups, and they don't treat it very well or bother to get things fixed. The building was built in 2001 as condos.

Here's the punch list so far:

-- No screens (most SF apartments don't have them)
-- Dirty walls, chipped paint, dirty carpet
-- Kitchen faucet leaks when on
-- Kitchen vent hood light bulbs both broken off in sockets. Owner got one out and appliance repair guy did the other; we replaced bulbs.
-- Water dispenser on fridge didn't work. Appliance repair guy fixed but then left icemaker unfunctional. He returned to straighten a pin in the control board connector.
-- Springs in dishwasher door broken so it free fell; David ordered a new one and took the dishwasher out to replace it (twice.) Still not quite right.
-- The light bulbs (fluorescent mini-floods) in the recessed fixtures throughout are hard to find, so the tenants over time had replaced them with bare compact fluorescents. Had to order 12 new bulbs online (at $7 each) to get a uniform appearance.
-- The entry intercom doesn't work, so everyone buzzes in people without knowing who they are. You get a phone call from the system (Caller ID "L MCAULEY", the owner's name -- I've told him that is easily changed to something more informative, since for days I thought his cellphone was random-dialing us) but the people wanting in can't hear anything you say, so you end up having to let them in if you're expecting anyone.
-- Tub caulk missing in a few spots
-- A missing outlet cover (now replaced)
-- GFI in kitchen trips at random, shutting off power to fridge
-- Washer made horrible buzzing sounds. Owner replaced.
-- The Venetian blinds are nearly all damaged or broken. Owner measured for replacements but nothing has happened so far.
-- Gas fireplace does not work
-- Oven door handle loose

Just a few little problems! I'm debating whether to tell the owner he's being hurt by Brian's "let everything go" style of management, and selection of tenants more likely to cause damage; this place would make more money spiffed up a bit and rented to less casual groups.



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