Monday, December 23, 2013

The Bitter Taste of Swiss Coffee

So we had a walkthrough with our apartment manager yesterday. This was a pre-inspection walkthrough, to be specific, so that we could agree on what things we need to fix in advance of the actual, final inspection when we move out. While a lot of what we went over was obvious and even useful, our conversation also uncovered some very frustrating realities.

Reality #1: The apartment manager does the final walkthrough with us. However, she doesn't make any decisions, have any quotes, or really, have any useful information whatsoever. I don't understand why they do it this way. Is it really legal? I mean, for this pre-inspection, all she did was walk through the apartment and tell us to "paint that wall" and "put putty in the nail holes" (duh). I tried asking her if they would be replacing the carpet, and how much that could be, also asking if they would charge us for this or that. All she could say to me was, "I'm really quite helpless in all this. The Landlord will come down after you move and make these decisions, and then she'll make a list for you". And when I asked if The Landlord was typically unfair with deposits (the manager and I had a casual conversation going), she said "No, I don't usually hear that complaint. The thing I hear about her is that she doesn't return the deposit to the tenants in time. She's pretty flakey". Really? You just admitted that The Landlord commonly breaks the lease agreement? Ugh. 

Reality #2: The walls have to be painted "Swiss Coffee" white. No, not 
- White
- Ultra Pure White
- Bright White
- Linen White
- Pure White
- Antique White
- Falling Snow
- Guardian White
- Polar Bear
- Dove White
- Painter's White
- Toasted White
- Elegant Lace
- Autumn Haze
- Summer Sandcastle
- Cappuccino White
- Guesthouse
- Ivory Palace
- Marshmallow White
- Burnished Clay
- Desert Springs
- Navajo White
- Frost
- Whisper White
- Cottage White
- Nope, not even Parchment White... 


Apparently, according to the manager, there was a past tenant who left their apartment in immaculate condition, but because they painted some of their walls a shade of white other than Swiss Coffee, The Landlord charged them, claiming that it was a noticeable difference, and that the painters had to paint over them. Worth noting: the manager told us that she didn't notice the difference when they did the final walkthrough. It was an issue only after the painters billed The Landlord for... well, I'm not sure what they billed her for. But I guess it was to paint over the, let's say, Whisper White and restore it to the all-important Swiss Coffee. 

Now, I understand the position of The Landlord and the painters: if the walls are painted a color that may take them more than one coat of paint to cover, that takes more time and money, and thus it should be the responsibility of the tenants to return the walls to their original state. One complication (which was revealed to us seemingly by accident because the manager stuttered afterward) is that the contractors apparently PAINT OVER EVERYTHING anyway. It's some policy, I guess. So... yeah. They paint all the doors and cabinets and walls, but painting over a different shade of white is so difficult that they need to take a bit out of your security deposit. Makes sense.

Anywho, it's really no big deal. I'm going to grab my Swiss Coffee, pick up a brush, and sing along to Xmas tunes while we paint, like we're in a holiday movie montage or maybe a musical. 

Days to Takeoff: 20

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