Hall of Shame
Review posted: 2003-04-03
Review updated: 2008-01-03
Location: 33020 10th Ave SW
Federal Way, WA 98023
This is the most expensive apartment I've ever lived in. It's also the most trouble and the worst management since I moved out of the seedy neighborhood around my college.
And if you're thinking of buying a Latitude Condominium, read this carefully - your new condo is my old apartment.
When we moved in, we found on our walk-through a very unclean apartment, and a significant number of problems. The kitchen had not been cleaned - no one had even wiped down the inside of the cabinets (we found pieces of popcorn, chips, etc.). The hinges on the cabinet doors were rusty - huge bulging spots of rust. This is where we keep our food! The fan timer in the master bath did not work, nor did it have the timer chips to turn the fan on and off. Almost all of the light switches were grimy and rusted, most of the door knobs were also rusty. Most of the windows did not easily move - they said due to the earthquake. Toilet bowls had rust or hard water stains. And while traffic noise was inaudible, our neighbors' snoring is not. As well as their bathroom fan, toilets, and disposal. The walls are thin, and just our luck - some water or drainage pipes (see below!) go right through our master bedroom's wall. So anytime anyone in the building flushes a toilet, we hear 7 seconds of very loud running water right next to our heads.
Because of all these problems, my wife (luckily starting her home-based business) had the maintenance employees in the apartment 2 to 3 times per week. That bathroom fan timer? These guys were completely unable to grasp how it worked - they couldn't fix it! They gave us the chips, they set the chips, but for crying out loud, they never made it actually turn.
After things started calming down, we woke up one Saturday morning a month into our lease to find the refrigerator broken. The fan still ran, it still sounded all right, but the cooling element no longer worked. The freezer compartment had an inch of animal blood and water in it. When we demanded the management fix it, they snobbily replied that it's probably our fault - we must have put our food too close to the vent and the ice build-up choked the air off. Not the case - the entire fridge was room-temperature when we woke up, and there was no ice build-up anywhere.
They replaced the unit that day, but refused to reimburse us for the lost food (we had receipts for at least $75 worth, and it was more like $100+). And it seems that the broken unit had just been moved into our apartment before we rented it - so the new unit is actually at least the third refrigerator in our apartment.
The latest damage is big. My wife noticed that our dresser in our master bedroom appeared to have dampness on the bottom, and there were strange wax chips on the floor nearby. I pulled the dresser away from the wall, and found a huge mold infestation next to a metal plate in the wall. The wall had mold, the dresser had mold, the carpet was wet, and the whole thing didn't smell good. Our working theory is that the metal plate was an access panel to the drainage system for the units.
The dresser will need to be replaced - the bottom drawer doesn't pull out smoothly, so I suspect the mold has built up inside the unit, as well as covering the outside nearest the wall.
A Roto-Rooter employee arrived and proceeded to spend the next five hours drilling a hole into our master bedroom wall, uncovering the drain pipe in the wall. That's right, in Barclay Ridge, the drain pipe for the kitchens (all four units) runs through the master bedroom wall. He finally went upstairs and found the leak at the joint in the kitchen where the pipes from the 2 units above us meet ours. He repaired the link, and said the fix would take at least 3 days to dry.
Called the office, asked when someone would be out to fix the wall. Marlene Diedrich said someone would be out today. My wife and I waited all day, until around 4p, but no one showed. We left for 45 minutes, and came back to find this note on the door: "4-8-03 I come to check wetness of damage. Chico" Chico (Barclay Ridge's head of maintenance) never showed up again. Not the next day, or the next week...
Walked my May rent check & a 5x8 print of the master bedroom "hole" to Marlene. She called Chico up, talked a bit, then asked me about the note he left - he said he wrote that he was there, couldn't come in, and wanted us to call him when we were ready. I disagreed but didn't push it. He said he'd be over sometime this afternoon, I said I'd be home.
Will, the maintenance staffer who did the most repairs, estimated a 3-day repair process. Because of his other duties, and because Barclay Ridge did not put a high priority on fixing this gaping hole in our wall, the repairs took 21 days to complete (finished on 2003-05-22). Will and Chico failed to show up as scheduled so often that -
I mailed Barclay Ridge a notice to complete the work or I would get bids myself and charge them for it, per Washington State law.
Marlene called right after I finished talking to Will. She snippily said that "her people" showed up yesterday and today and I wasn't around. I immediately corrected her, and she muttered something about getting different information from everyone. I told her Will came by today and promised he would start at 9am tomorrow.
She told me to call her when the work is completed, to my satisfaction or not.
- The maintenance staff promised to show up on specific days and specific times and almost never kept their word.
- No one ever contacted me to inform me that the repairs would be delayed.
- A 3-day job took 7 times longer than estimated - in the most expensive apartment I've ever rented.
Additional URL: http://www.latitudecondos.com/