Our management is pretty chill. Which is cool, when we want to do repairs or put nails in the wall to hang things up or repaint a room or something. Not so much when we’re worried our oven is going to explode.
We discovered a while ago that the pilot lights on our gas range will not light on their own. They’ll also go out with any gust of wind; when that happens, it means that the stove is slowly leaking gas that isn’t burning. Long-term, this could mean that we die in the night.
Don’t worry, Mom. We turn the gas off at the wall any time we’re not using the range. That gets annoying, (Almost as annoying as the fly that’s buzzing incessantly around my head right now. Cool it, fly.) Anyways, back to the oven. The night before the wedding, I was staying at our apartment while Ethan stayed with his family at a hotel. We were playing board games before we split for the night, and Ethan wanted to make nachos. He discovered, much to his dismay, that the oven also has a pilot light – that also doesn’t light itself. Which means not only do we need to light the oven (which really doesn’t work) before we cook, it also means that if we don’t open the stove-top and the oven and light 3 pilot lights before we cook anything, we actually run the risk of filling the oven with gas and causing a minor explosion.
Which brings me to our management. We called, he didn’t answer. So we called his wife. She said she’d tell him to call. He didn’t. We called back, left a message. Eventually, he called back, but didn’t want to make any promises. Called the owner, who wanted more information. He called back to ask about the oven, and said he’d look into getting us a new one. Hasn’t called back in a week.
He also hasn’t done anything about the 2 twin beds (that came with the apartment) that he said he was going to get rid of for us, about a month ago. We dumped them in the back lot, against the fence.
Having consulted with the upstairs neighbors, we suspect the problem is more with the owner than with the manager. Our manager is laid-back, true, but it’s pretty clear that the owner just doesn’t care. Word on the street is that he owns half the block, and plans to tear it all down in a year to build an apartment complex. But in the meantime, he doesn’t seem to care about making money while the homes are still here. Half of the tenants don’t even bother paying rent (says the neighbor), and one house at the end of the block is totally empty. Last year, a 40-year-old guy was smoking pot in an upstairs apartment, and only got evicted because our neighbor made a fuss. One guy drew graffiti all over the living room walls with Sharpie, and the owner was unfazed. He also seems unimpressed by the two windows we’ve replaced, walls we’ve spackled and painted, shower tile we’ve caulked, back railing we’ve welded. . . . We’ve been good for the property value. But property value doesn’t mean much when you’re just waiting to tear the place down anyway.
It’s a dreadful shame. He could make a lot of money if he actually bothered to do things like collecting rent. He could also charge a lot more if he took better care of the place – it’s across the street from campus. A lot of people would pay good money to live where we do. But it would appear that his business model is apathy.
So in the meantime, we’re baking dinner rolls in a toaster oven (thanks, wedding gifter!) And we’re still a little confused why you wouldn’t want to leave a place better than you found it. Even if they tear it down after we move out, I’m still planning to sweep the floors and make sure we leave it in good condition. Maybe it doesn’t make any sense, but I’d like to know when I leave, that I changed something for the better. ♦