Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

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kjvmartin
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Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:26 pm

Our apartment complex is nicely located in an upscale part of our metro area. Medium cost of living. The clubhouse/leasing office has a seasonal outdoor pool and a year round fitness center. I make regular use of the fitness center. It can be contested at peaks hours, but our apartment has a good view of the area so I can sneak over at lulls. Anyway, the exterior after hours door was locked (maintenance note on door) for a few days which turned into a few weeks. I popped in during business hours and the leasing office informed me there was a fire and they were going to have the ducts cleaned out before reopening the gym - eta 1 week. The smoke odor was quite bad throughout the building. I saw the cleaning equipment on site and the building was reopened for tenant use shortly after.

The odor doesn't seem to be addressed. I exercised for 1/2 hour, and although I got used to it, I had an irritated throat for 24 hours after. I thought I might be getting sick, but it got better. Not to mention, my hair and clothes picked up the stench. At this point, the leasing office has no answer or time frame regarding remediation. The lease, oddly, does not specifically mention the fitness center, but does have language to indicate that if the pool were ever closed I am not entitled to withhold rent as a result. Though it's unrelated, our rent has gone up over 30% in the past 5 years.

There's a nice gym in walking distance, but they charge $70 per month plus signup fees to join. Otherwise, there's a budget gym - 15 minute car ride - that charges $10-20 per month plus signup fees.

Should I send a letter asking what they'd be willing to offer? Make a demand? I did partly choose this apartment based on the fitness center. Thoughts?

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Sandtrap
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:45 pm

If you are a tenant with a landlord and a lease. I would keep a low key. Perhaps send a very polite inquiry to your landlord at best.
The gym is unrelated to your dwelling and is a common area vs home. The lease is does not mention the "fitness center". So it is in a very gray, very weak, (losing) area of contention.
This has nothing to do with rent increases.

If you are a condo owner, then send a letter to the association.

There's an old saying about "choosing one's battles" and "discretion being the better part of valor", etc.
j

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blueblock
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by blueblock » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:55 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:26 pm
There's a nice gym in walking distance, but they charge $70 per month plus signup fees to join. Otherwise, there's a budget gym - 15 minute car ride - that charges $10-20 per month plus signup fees.

Thoughts?
If you're older, have you looked at Silver Sneakers to see if they might cover the cost of the gym membership? My membership at Snap Fitness was $40/month, but now it's free through their program. It's fast and easy to check.

https://www.silversneakers.com

kjvmartin
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:36 pm

blueblock wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:55 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:26 pm
There's a nice gym in walking distance, but they charge $70 per month plus signup fees to join. Otherwise, there's a budget gym - 15 minute car ride - that charges $10-20 per month plus signup fees.

Thoughts?
If you're older, have you looked at Silver Sneakers to see if they might cover the cost of the gym membership? My membership at Snap Fitness was $40/month, but now it's free through their program. It's fast and easy to check.

https://www.silversneakers.com
Would love that, alas I'm still a spring chicken! I'm probably going to have to pay for one of my local gyms. I have to wonder what they're telling new/potential tenants that are visiting & touring the facilities about the smell. It would have been enough for me to reconsider the lease.

The view from my balcony is that no one is using the gym anymore, so there must be quite a few upset residents. I've tried to lookup information about remediating smoke damage. Seems they may need to gut the place to alleviate the problem.

denovo
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by denovo » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:02 pm

I suspect they'll give you $0.

At best, they'll let you maybe break the lease to get rid of you if you're not month to month.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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Sandtrap
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:01 pm

denovo wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:02 pm
I suspect they'll give you $0.

At best, they'll let you maybe break the lease to get rid of you if you're not month to month.
+1
thus, low key is a good key.
j

Mudpuppy
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:23 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:26 pm
The odor doesn't seem to be addressed. I exercised for 1/2 hour, and although I got used to it, I had an irritated throat for 24 hours after. I thought I might be getting sick, but it got better. Not to mention, my hair and clothes picked up the stench. At this point, the leasing office has no answer or time frame regarding remediation. The lease, oddly, does not specifically mention the fitness center, but does have language to indicate that if the pool were ever closed I am not entitled to withhold rent as a result. Though it's unrelated, our rent has gone up over 30% in the past 5 years.
Since you say the leasing office has no answers, I assume that means you have asked them when the smell will be remediated and have not received an answer. Have you spoken with your neighbors to see if they are also concerned about the odor? A group request for action can often be more effective than an individual complaint.

And I doubt the right to a fitness center would be a renter's right or anything covered by the lease. However, the common areas in general may have legal requirements for repairs after a fire (e.g. health and safety regulations for a common area). Talking to the local renter's rights office would be the next step if your group is still ignored by the leasing office. Find out what legal legs you have to stand on before you go "up the chain" by contacting the bosses at the management company and/or owner.

chevca
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by chevca » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:32 am

Give 'em a break... there was just a fire in the building!

I highly doubt they owe you a gym membership since there was a fire in the fitness room. I find it odd and rude you would even think that way. The fitness room is a perk not a right.

I'd suggest, work out outside for a bit while they get the fire situation fixed up. It's free. :happy

adamthesmythe
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:50 am

> The lease, oddly, does not specifically mention the fitness center, but does have language to indicate that if the pool were ever closed I am not entitled to withhold rent as a result.

So according to your lease, the landlord (or, more accurately, management company) has undertaken no obligation to provide you with either a pool or a fitness center.

You're out of luck, just like if they had cut down your favorite bush.

kjvmartin
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by kjvmartin » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:11 am

chevca wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:32 am
Give 'em a break... there was just a fire in the building!

I highly doubt they owe you a gym membership since there was a fire in the fitness room. I find it odd and rude you would even think that way. The fitness room is a perk not a right.

I'd suggest, work out outside for a bit while they get the fire situation fixed up. It's free. :happy
There was a fire, but it must have been very small. No trucks or anything on site about 2 months ago. The fire did not happen in the fitness room, or in the office space where the management company operates. In fact, I wouldn't know there had been a fire if not for the odor and my subsequent inquiry. It's still very strong, I had to have my winter coat professionally cleaned after hanging it there for 30 minutes. As such, I feel bad for the leasing company employees working there each day.

There's a maintenance garage attached to the building and I'm assuming the fire happened in there, since that's the only place I can't see.

The fitness center is not in the lease, but the lease is up for renewal in less than a month. During that time, I'll make an issue about it and request something in writing about remediation. Not that I would ever say this, for worry of sounding rude, but I think it's "odd and rude" that they would leave an amenity unusable for over 2 months. I think the room needs a thorough cleaning, repainting, and possibly new carpet. It's honestly about the size of a living room and would probably cost them very little to make this right.

kjvm

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Sandtrap
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:21 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:11 am
chevca wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:32 am
Give 'em a break... there was just a fire in the building!

I highly doubt they owe you a gym membership since there was a fire in the fitness room. I find it odd and rude you would even think that way. The fitness room is a perk not a right.

I'd suggest, work out outside for a bit while they get the fire situation fixed up. It's free. :happy
There was a fire, but it must have been very small. No trucks or anything on site about 2 months ago. The fire did not happen in the fitness room, or in the office space where the management company operates. In fact, I wouldn't know there had been a fire if not for the odor and my subsequent inquiry. It's still very strong, I had to have my winter coat professionally cleaned after hanging it there for 30 minutes. As such, I feel bad for the leasing company employees working there each day.

There's a maintenance garage attached to the building and I'm assuming the fire happened in there, since that's the only place I can't see.

The fitness center is not in the lease, but the lease is up for renewal in less than a month. During that time, I'll make an issue about it and request something in writing about remediation. Not that I would ever say this, for worry of sounding rude, but I think it's "odd and rude" that they would leave an amenity unusable for over 2 months. I think the room needs a thorough cleaning, repainting, and possibly new carpet. It's honestly about the size of a living room and would probably cost them very little to make this right.

kjvm
The lease is up for renewal. A landlord is not obligated to give a reason for not renewing a lease just as a tenant doesn't have to give a reason for moving out after a lease ends.
Perhaps it is good to choose one's battles and areas of concern carefully.

It is amazing how many amenities and decorative features and such are removed permanently, or closed permanently "for repairs" when it is too costly or has become point of contention between owners and tenants.

j :D

Mudpuppy
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:16 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:11 am
There was a fire, but it must have been very small. No trucks or anything on site about 2 months ago. The fire did not happen in the fitness room, or in the office space where the management company operates. In fact, I wouldn't know there had been a fire if not for the odor and my subsequent inquiry. It's still very strong, I had to have my winter coat professionally cleaned after hanging it there for 30 minutes. As such, I feel bad for the leasing company employees working there each day.
Unless you have a camera watching the common area 24/7, a small fire could have happened in the fitness center or office space and been handled before you even noticed. Fire engines do not always come in with sirens blaring and it doesn't take much of a fire to leave behind smoke damage. Also, the office employees could check in to health and safety regulations to see if this violates working condition laws in your area. You could do that for them if you are that concerned about them.

But frankly, I'd be more concerned now about how the landlord and leasing company would repair your actual apartment building in the event of a fire there. They've shown signs that they'll cheap out on it by what they've done with the common area. Read the lease closely and carefully to see what sort of coverage it provides you in the event your unit is damaged by smoke / fire. Also check the renter's rights laws and, if you have renter's insurance, what your insurance will provide you.

Since you are at lease renewal time, now is a good time to check these things.

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Pajamas
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by Pajamas » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:28 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:26 pm
I exercised for 1/2 hour, and although I got used to it, I had an irritated throat for 24 hours after. I thought I might be getting sick, but it got better. Not to mention, my hair and clothes picked up the stench.
Did you tell them about your experience?

Seems like they thought they had addressed the problem but did not do so completely and may not be aware of the problems it is causing. They might take additional steps at remediation if they are aware that they need to. They may have to have the ductwork cleaned and use an ozone generator or similar. They may need to get a company that specializes in this to address the problem.

So if you have not let them know that there is a problem, you might want to write a polite letter letting them know and pointing out that the primary reason you rented there was because of the gym. Being nice about it might get you something but if you are impolite you are more likely to get nothing, in my experience.

Also, could your irritated throat have been a coincidence? Seems like your sinuses and lungs would have been irritated, too, if there were enough particles in the air to irritate your throat.

I was in a house one time when the HVAC unit itself was producing smoke and distributing it through the ductwork. It was much worse in the rooms closest to the HVAC unit and almost non-existent in the rooms farthest away. There was no actual fire but the unit had to be replaced. Something like that could have been the cause.

hale2
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Re: Suggestions or remedy for a fire on our apartment complex...

Post by hale2 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:42 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:21 am
kjvmartin wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:11 am
chevca wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:32 am
Give 'em a break... there was just a fire in the building!

I highly doubt they owe you a gym membership since there was a fire in the fitness room. I find it odd and rude you would even think that way. The fitness room is a perk not a right.

I'd suggest, work out outside for a bit while they get the fire situation fixed up. It's free. :happy
There was a fire, but it must have been very small. No trucks or anything on site about 2 months ago. The fire did not happen in the fitness room, or in the office space where the management company operates. In fact, I wouldn't know there had been a fire if not for the odor and my subsequent inquiry. It's still very strong, I had to have my winter coat professionally cleaned after hanging it there for 30 minutes. As such, I feel bad for the leasing company employees working there each day.

There's a maintenance garage attached to the building and I'm assuming the fire happened in there, since that's the only place I can't see.

The fitness center is not in the lease, but the lease is up for renewal in less than a month. During that time, I'll make an issue about it and request something in writing about remediation. Not that I would ever say this, for worry of sounding rude, but I think it's "odd and rude" that they would leave an amenity unusable for over 2 months. I think the room needs a thorough cleaning, repainting, and possibly new carpet. It's honestly about the size of a living room and would probably cost them very little to make this right.

kjvm
The lease is up for renewal. A landlord is not obligated to give a reason for not renewing a lease just as a tenant doesn't have to give a reason for moving out after a lease ends.
Perhaps it is good to choose one's battles and areas of concern carefully.

It is amazing how many amenities and decorative features and such are removed permanently, or closed permanently "for repairs" when it is too costly or has become point of contention between owners and tenants.

j :D
+1.
I have bent over backwards for good quality tenants. And I have also not renewed leases for people who were difficult. You might want to take into account the hassle for you if you have to move. It'll probably be more difficult (and expensive) than not having on site access to a fitness room.

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