Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kettler Rental Properties: Run As if Your Ass Was on Fire and Satan Himself Were Chasing You

Now I know I posted about the arduous but still fun ordeal of buying a house.

Let me tell you one of the reasons we bought a house.

Once I graduated from college and was making some coin, my then fiance and I started looking to find a place to get to together. He worked in Baltimore and I was working in Beltsville, so we happened upon the Lighthouse at Twinlakes apartment complex. Back then, it wasn't owned by Kettler, that happened early 2009.

And that's when it fell to shit. We had a busted pipe in our second apartment, in our kitchen sink, which meant we couldn't do laundry (had to hook up the washing machine to a sink), do dishes or run the dishwasher. I called two days before New Year's Eve. I was told it wasn't an emergency and that it would be taken care of after the holidays. I had to wait five days.

The upstairs neighbors had a flood, which ended up soaking our kitchen. The maintenance men came in with dirty rags and proceeded to try to wipe off my appliances and baking sheets, after WIPING OFF THE FLOOR. Yes, you may start cringing because I certainly did.

They had pest people come in the spring. They sent out notices that they would stop by our building on a Thursday. When did they show? A week and a half later. Which meant I kept having to pack everything away in our kitchen every day for a week and a half so the poison could be put down.

We had roaches big enough to drive cars routinely in our apartment. The pest control did nothing.

The next and last apartment was a studio. I had to take time off work because an old pipe burst in the wall behind our toilet and the entire wall had to be ripped out. Which needed to take two days apparently. We opted out of the programmable thermostat install, not that we wouldn't have liked it, but no one would be home and I did not want people in my home when I wasn't there. But two weeks after the initial sweep, we came home to find it installed. Which meant they entered our home without our consent. Also illegal.

And the final kicker was this week. We moved out earlier this month. When we had put in our notice to vacate, they entered that we had already moved out and then tried to claim that we hadn't paid rent for our last month there. I thought that had been taken care of but they sent a bill for our last amount of utilities to our new house. Or so they claim. We never got it and literally 11 days after they say they sent it, we started getting collection calls.

Yes, we stayed with this complex for four years because I was unemployed for two of those years and it was sadly the cheapest/easiest solution. Yes, you get what you pay for. I wish we could have afforded other options besides a terrible, unkempt apartment complex that hadn't been renovated since the 1980's.

1 comment:

  1. They are unbelievable - and criminal, too. A nice big class-action lawsuit might get them to follow the law. At this point though they (like most mega-property management firms) make far more money with bogus fees, terms, penalties, bullying (EXTORTION) etc. If you read the RICO Act, you'll see just how much trouble they could be in if anyone cared to prosecute. Sadly, most persons who might know tenant law sure aren't living there, and who's going to prosecute if no one reports them?

    Also, most of those big firms are all related to the same big fat wallet. It's no coincidence that every management firm follows virtually the same corrupt policies. My research in NJ showed that one firm leaves and the next has the same corporate ties, including Kettler. And I'm talking about multiple (high double digits) companies all sharing a common name/alias, owner, principal, address or other. They create all these companies and buy/sell back and forth. Even better is the awards they all claim come from those non-profit apartment associations. Those 'clubs' solicit membership dues from unsuspecting business owners and maybe a few lone ranger property owners and throw extravagant dinners for the 'winners'.

    I enjoyed reading your blog, especially the title!