From Angela Krok
In January our apartment complex, the Pavilions in Manchester, CT, suffered severe water damage in 400+ of its 1000 apartments. It took more than 4 weeks for someone to come LOOK at the damage in our apartment.
We lived with buckets and wet carpet for more than a month, had to chip ice off of the outside of our building on our own to stop water from pouring in. We reported the damage numerous times and our rental office was extremely rude to us, saying there was nothing they could do about it. Everyone else in our complex that was affected we have found were treated the same way.
Management finally got a crew in here and they started working, would come into our apartment whenever they wanted (Sunday’s, 8pm, when we weren’t home, and they never gave any notice). We had no idea when the repairs were going to start, who the company was that was doing the repairs. I would have men knock on my door who didn’t speak English and just barge in; I assumed they were supposed to be there but I had never been notified by management that the repairs were starting. I didn’t mind them coming in late at night or on the weekends because I just wanted the repairs done, but I just asked for some notice that they would be coming so I wouldn’t be in the shower or something and so I could lock my dog up.
They ripped out the drywall and insulation, down to the studs, gave us a commercial size dehumdifier and fans, then didn’t come back for two weeks. They gave us no instructions on what we were supposed to do, just left.
The breakers kept kicking in our apartment so we couldn’t even leave the machines plugged in. We called maintenance but they told us to call the restoration company. We reported this to the front office and they said they couldn’t do anything, to just leave the machines off. Our living room and our bedroom were both affected, so we only had use of our kitchen and spare bedroom. All furniture needed to be moved out of the affected rooms (we had to move the furniture) so we really didn’t have any living space at all.
We have renter’s insurance and could have gone to a hotel during the 4 weeks it took them to make the repairs (we were lucky as we were the first building to be completed, others waited more than 3 months, and to date, I know the repairs are still not complete in some buildings!).
But our insurance company needed some information from our management company about the damages and repairs, and they wouldn’t give it to them! So our insurance company couldn’t guarantee us that if we went to a hotel that the expenses would be covered. We couldn’t afford to foot the bill for a month at a hotel so we were stuck. Thankfully we don’t have kids, but many others affected did!
Then we get to the mold issues. As they started ripping out the insulation and drywall, they exposed lots of mold in many apartments. I don’t know for certain, and our apartment was not affected this way, but I have seen pictures and have heard that they did not clean it properly.
They just painted over it and put in new insulation and went about the rest of the repairs. I do have severe mold allergies and I did end up in the hospital ER on Feb 21. I can only assume it was due to the mold in the ventilation system that is connected in all of the bulidings (our neighbors did have mold).
My husband was also sick and out of work for two weeks with bronchitis and a strange cough that he couldn’t kick until he went and stayed with friends. Someone organized a tenants association meeting to discuss the issues, and we were in one of the common buildings having a meeting and management called the police on us to have us arrested. They said we broke into the buliding, but we didn’t. We had every right to be there as we all pay a $200/year fee to use the common areas!
Now that the damages are repaired, we were told we’d be getting a rental credit for our troubles. Our apartment was affected from Jan 18 – April 12 when the repairs were completed.
We received a notice saying our rental credit was about $500, but they didn’t realize we had two rooms affected, so they adjusted it to $1112.88 (total square footage of the two rooms affected x the number of days we had damage). They asked us to submit our utility bills and said they’d pay the difference (gas and electric bills were so much higher because of running the machines and not having insulation in the middle of winter). They wanted us to submit Dec and Jan bills (to get an average of our usage) and they’d pay us for Feb and March over the average. I said they should be averaging Nov and Dec since Jan was an affected month. They didn’t agree but said they’d ask their corporate office. And now they won’t get back to me.
Also, they didn’t give people a check for the amount of the credit, they just told us to take it off of our rent. So that’s what we did, but then we got a notice that our rent was late! And, our lease was up at that point. We were considering moving, but then we would have lost that credit. Our management company has really dropped the ball here and I’m not sure what to do. I just want them to be accountable. They are very willing to tell me what I want to hear when I go to the office to complain, but they won’t put it in writing.
The assistant manager keeps telling us we got the credit, and I asked her for that in writing, but then she says she can’t, that the manager will get back to us. Then the manager says she has to ask her bosses at corporate. So we just go round and round. I was hoping that someone out there might be able to help us and the hundreds of other residents who are in the same boat we are!
FROM GEORGE GOMBOSSY
The complaint was also sent to the Ct Attorney General
I have asked the owners of the complex to respond, if and when they do, it will be published in full here.