Thursday, March 4, 2010

Moving Day

Below is a copy of my notice to vacate from my last apartment in which I resided in Arlington, Virginia. While not everything included below made its way into the final draft of the letter, each item is true. 

Please accept this letter as my 30-day notice to vacate per the terms of my lease agreement.

In addition, I would like to make the following known, since your management company has purchased this complex in the last six months. I understand from your letter that this complex will be destroyed to make space for retail tenants, and I can not agree with the decision enough. While my stay here was practical (close to work, cheap rent, near several restaurants), I am surprised I survived here five years. I know the tenant before me in this apartment died here, so I feel especially lucky.

The following are experiences/observations I have had since I started living here 5 years ago.

  • A group of youths attacked another youth in the parking lot with baseball bats. Most likely gang-related. Threat level feeling of security = yellow.
  • One of the members of that group of youths tossed his grandmother out of a second story window in my building. How nice.
  • The apartments in this building have some sort of weird wood parquet tiles. (50% of these tiles were broken.) In the lease it stated that 80% of the floor needed to be covered by carpet or rugs or furniture. Obviously this was to keep the noise level down between upstairs and downstairs apartments. Unfortunately, this didn't seem to apply to the 3 upstairs neighbors I had over the years.
  • Any noise insulation between floors was ineffective. A 25 year old girl who weighed maybe 100 pounds shouldn't be able to sound like an elephant doing the hokey pokey.
  • In addition, I do not believe that I should have had to listen to said 25 year old upstairs neighbor having sexual relations with a random bar hook-up for 6 hours one night. Normally, I wouldn't care that much, but it was extremely disturbing knowing that her mother moved in with her 3 weeks prior. Ick.
  • No one should be forced to listen to their 25 year old upstairs neighbor play a horrible song by Sting 24 hours a day on repeat. You know the song. The one where he yodels through it... Ick II.
  • The homeless man who continued to break into our laundry room snored. I know this since my apartment was directly above the laundry room. Threat level feeling of security = Orange.
  • The ceiling in my bathroom collapsed in year 2.
  • The ceiling in my bathroom collapsed in year 3.
  • The ceiling in my bathroom collapsed in year 4.
  • You would think someone would actually FIX the leak from the bathroom above me rather than just replacing the ceiling in my bathroom 3 times!
  • The layout of the apartment had the worst air flow in the history of air flow.
  • The lack of central air was a definite negative. I understand it for the price, but one window A/C unit, running non-stop all year at the lowest temperature possible, still barely cooled one room (see note above about air flow).
  • I had to choose between having a "cool" living room or a "cool" bedroom. Because of this A/C situation, I wound up sleeping on my couch for 4 years. Thank you.
  • The one A/C unit wound up breaking during the hottest and most humid week in history. Not having a working replacement installed until 6 days later was unacceptable. During this time, I believe I may have actually melted.
  • Due to the broken A/C unit and failure to replace in a reasonable time, the apartment developed mold in several areas, including the walls and floors. Since I did not have an endless supply of surgical masks, I have to wonder how much of my lungs I have left.
  • Somehow, in the five years I lived there, the floor sank 4-5 inches. I know this because the baseboard in my living room had a growing gap in it which measured 4-5 inches. If it continued, it would have allowed the homeless man to climb into my living room from the laundry room.
  • During the night, and sometimes during the day, a cricket or 6 would venture out from that gap and wander around my apartment. No matter what was sprayed in that gap, the crickets continued. Mutant crickets are not a good selling point to potential renters.
  • After a while, I believe the crickets began mocking me by appearing in the middle of the night, in the middle of the room, just staring at me while I slept.
  • Every wall developed HUGE cracks in them. They appeared to exactly trace the plumbing behind the walls. Most likely this could have been due to the condensation buildup on them from the A/C breaking. It looked GREAT!
  • Only three of the stove's burners worked. The complex managers refused to replace it. I'm glad the gas stove did not cause the management any concern about a safety issue.
  • The refrigerator broke 2 times and needed replacing during the time I was there.The maintenance man was friendly and helpful, but I should not have been required to assist in lugging a fridge up 30 steps to the dumpster. Twice.
  • The one time we had a lot of snow the apartment residents were snowed in because management refused to pay for a plow to clear the parking lot. I was stuck in the apartment for four days. This was perhaps the worst experience any human being has ever experienced.
  • I could NEVER bring a girl home. I was too embarrassed. This seriously hindered my romantic life. Chastity should not be forced on someone.
  • On at least 3 occasions the police were called because of individuals sneaking around the bedroom windows in our building. No one ever followed up with the residents to let us know if he was a peeper or a thief looking for open opportunities or worse.Threat level feeling of security = Pink.
  • The laundry room (where the homeless man liked to sleep) had one washer and one dryer. The dryer worked 40% of the time.
  • The laundry room was in the basement of the building.
  • The laundry room did not look like it had been cleaned since the building was erected.
  • There were rows of hooks on the walls in the laundry room and very poor lighting. The resulting effect made one feel that the laundry room was actually the killing ground for a serial killer. Watch any low budget horror movie, and you will see a room that resembled our laundry room. Threat level feeling of security = Red.
  • For a building that was supposed to be secure, the front door to the foyer had a broken lock for 4 of the five years. Threat level feeling of security = Brown (i.e. - The color of "Oh shit, I'm going to die in this God-forsaken place!").
  • The exhaust fan in the kitchen did not work. Ever. Therefore, I could not cook in the kitchen. This resulted in 5 years of microwave meals and eating out often. The weight gain I experienced during this time period was a direct result of that broken fan.
I believe that living in this apartment for five years effectively reduced my lifespan by 3 decades at least. I do not plan any legal action and I hold no ill will towards you. However, for the sake of everything that is holy, please implode this complex as soon as possible, clear the rubble, burn the dust, salt the earth, and run as far away as possible.

Please let me know if there is anything further I need to do in order to reclaim my security deposit. 

Thank you.


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