Thursday, February 08, 2007

New Dishwasher!

We are getting a new dishwasher this afternoon. Despite the brief inconvenience of hand-washing all of our dishes piling up our dishes next to the sink, I am very happy with how all this turned out. This is in no small part because of the awful experiences I had with previous landlords.

Let me summarize the situation:

During my senior year I was a tenant at 1033 Michigan, a house owned by Baltzell Properties. In June 2005, heavy rains caused water to seep into my basement bedroom. The carpet was soaked. They had me move out temporarily since they had to disassemble my bed and peel back the carpet while a large fan dried it out. They also put a piece of PVC piping on the downspout so it drained farther from the house and more downhill along the driveway.

I had no problems again until January, when the same exact thing happened on a night of heavy rainfall.

I called our landlord, Marty Baltzell. In a documented conversation, he exploded and berated me over the phone, trying to trace the problem back to us tenants. He suggested, among other things, that the leak may have been caused by "neighborhood bums" who tried to rinse out cans with the hose on the side of the house and left it on, so therefore it was our fault for leaving cans outside. He then attacked me for calling their phone numbers (they had four listed, plus an assistant's cell) in an order unsatisfactory to him. This was a ridiculous non sequitur, and after a full hour of arguing he eventually said someone would be over to look at it.

They concluded that that my fridge was "pouring water out the back" at a high enough rate to soak most of my carpet in my room. Despite this, my freezer was still frozen solid and there was no notable condensation on the inside. The rainfall was just a coincidence. Marty scolded me for bringing such a wasteful item into his house when there was a fridge two doors down in the pantry -- after all, he said, he had to get up and walk down the hallway at home when he wanted a drink of water. So we got rid of my fridge and they put a dehumidifier in there.

It rained hard again three days later. The carpet was soaked again. This time they decided that it was because the dehumidifier's condensation bucket was not emptied properly (by me of course) and therefore it filled up. They said -- actually said -- that the water seeped into the carpet, where it lay unnoticeable for two days and then resurfaced. The rainfall was a coincidence. After my assertions that this was both false and impossible, they decided that it was caused by a bad dehumidifier, and replaced it.

For the record, I noticed the day before the first January flooding that the PVC pipe extension was missing. They put it back on after the final rainstorm. I mentioned this all along. That's all the problem ever was.

So last week we noticed that the first stage of our dishwasher ran completely dry. We mentioned the problem to our landlord in person on Thursday and no accusations were made. Guys showed up to fix it on Friday morning. On Wednesday we had a new dishwasher sitting in our living room, and they're coming over today to install it. This level of professionalism and service is leagues above and beyond the Baltzells', and I am very glad. Post Realty has its act together.

And I'd like to say once again that the Baltzells rented me a legally uninhabitable bedroom and I was very dissatisfied with the way they ran their business.

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