I am documenting this incident as a warning against any person who may be thinking about doing business with Janice Johnson of Millennium Property Management in Mission Hills, CA. I cannot comment on any other location for that company.
I moved to 1742 N. Edgemont Street in late 1996. At the time, a man named Stan was the manager of the building and employed by the late, Moe Greendale, who owned the apartment building. Stan was not employed by Millennium Property Management, Inc. Unfortunately, Stan was unethical, entering tenant apartments while tenants were away and convincing many to pay their rent in cash, claiming it was a more efficient way to post their payments. Because of numerous complaints against Stan, he was eventually terminated. After he left the property it was discovered that he had absconded with rent money and had not recorded many of the cash payments in the manager's tenant roster. Before leaving, he destroyed many of the tenant files, which contained copies of the agreements we signed at the time we agreed to rent our apartments.
Moe Greendale hired Millennium Property Management to take control over the management of the four buildings located between 1726 and 1742 N. Edgemont. In the months which followed, Millennium brought in one new manager after another. Some quit but most were terminated, in part because of the high turnover in tenants. Three things which characterized all of the managers was their lack of professionalism, lack of education, and inexperience. Also, none possessed the ability to communicate effectively or politely with tenants.
In the months following Millennium's arrival, many of the long-time tenants began to receive notices advising them that records left by Stan showed these tenants had not paid their rents for many months. I personally believe that Millennium knew this was not only untrue but that they knew Stan absconded with monies paid by tenants.
Long-time tenants began to vacate their premises while others were evicted. Despite the assertions by many tenants that they paid their rent in cash, to Stan, Millennium's managers proceeded with evicting tenants, all according to the then-managers, at Janice Johnson's direction.
One of the few improvement introduced to the property was the paving of the parking lot located at the back of the four apartment buildings. For years, tenants had to park whereever the could find a space. As a result, some tenants could not locate spaces while cars were parked in disarray. Millennium paved the back lot, marked tenant spaces and prohibited non-tenants from parking in the lot. However, within a short-time, Millennium informed tenants that they must pay a $35.00 fee to park in the back lot. Those that did not park would have to find parking outside, on the crowded streets.
At the time, I contacted the city of Los Angeles and was informed that tenants cannot be charged a parking fee if the property is located in the city of Los Angeles. Zip code 90027, where the property is located is in the city of Los Angeles. When advised of this, the managers stated that Janice wanted tenants charged and there was nothing any tenant could do, aside from parking outside, on the crowded street.
In May 2002, Sean Wright became the new property manager. Unfortunately, Mr. Wright further alienated many of the property tenants which resulted in a continued exodus from the property. On the week he arrived, he and the boyfriend of the former manager, got into a yelling argument in the back parking lot which ended when the boyfriend threatened to hit him.
Before his arrival and after his arrival, I had continually requested that repairs be performed in my apartment. Amongst these, was a broken window, a stove whose oven did not work, a broken pipe belonging to the upstairs bathroom which leaked through the bathroom ceiling, an inoperative wall heater, and the removal of mold which covered the bathroom walls but which in the past had merely been painted over.
Requests were always ignored. In one instance I did not have phone service for 3 weeks because hot water sprayed on to the telephone wires which were located in the basement next to where the apartment's washing machines were located. The first time I informed the manager, I was told that I had to call AT & T. The telephone company repairman who inspected the wiring said the repair was the responsibility of the property management. Efforts by the telephone company to inspect the property were impeded because the managers were never in the office during the hours of operation. It was all in all, a frustrating experience.
Over a period of many months, the manager's informed me that I had underpaid my rent for a period of 12 months. I told them I was paying what I was contractually obligated to pay. They informed me that Stan took or destroyed tenant files and thus there was no way to prove that what I alleged was in fact true. Locating the copy of the agreement I signed, I showed them how much I was contractually required to pay. The demands ceased until Mr. Wright arrived. He resumed these, leaving an unsigned hand-written note taped to my door each month, which stated I was underpaying my rent. Despite leaving a copy of my agreement, he continued to leave hand-written notes demanding I pay the money due to Moe Greendale.
Though I did not initially know, who was leaving the unsigned notices, I later discovered it was Sean Wright.
However, what is more perplexing and even disturbing was an incident which developed within a few weeks after Mr. Wright's arrival. Several times, after returning home from work, I noticed that my Caller ID showed Moe Greendale's telephone number though no messages were ever left on my recorder. Soon afterwards, my telephone would ring late at night and again, Moe Greendale's name and telephone number (323) 660-7879, would appear on my Caller ID. As usual, no messages were left. I called the number back immediately, but no one answered.
One day, I returned home and again discovered Moe Greendale's name on my Caller ID. Tired that the caller was not leaving messages and even disturbing my sleep, I called the number the following day at about 11 a.m. This time, Mr. Wright answered the phone. After identifying myself, I asked if we had ever met. He replied that he did not know who I was. I then asked why he or someone from his office was calling my home while I was away and late at night, without leaving a message. At first, he replied, 'I haven't called' but upon advising him that Moe Greendale's name was appearing on my Caller ID and that I would have to file a complaint with the telephone company should the calls not desist, he stuttered and said, 'Oh yeah...ah, I can't remember why I called.' I told him that he was no longer allowed to call my residence without leaving a message. I also told him that I found his behavior odd. He laughed uncomfortably and said, 'Okay.' After this, Moe Greendale's name never again appeared on my Caller ID.
In October 3, 2003, I returned home from work and discovered a form letter taped to my door which said that I had not paid my rent and that due to this I must now pay an additional $75.00 late fee. If I refused to pay, I would be subject to eviction proceedings.
The agreement I signed stipulated that rent was due on the 1st but could be paid up until the 3rd of the month without incurring a late fee. What's more, I paid the rent earlier that day, before 5 p.m. Like most tenants, I dropped of an envelope containing my rent check in the drop box located on the manager's office door. Though it was after 5 p.m., I called Mr. Wright's office but a recorder answered. I left a message requesting that Mr. Wright call me immediately. When he didn't call back, I walked to his apartment which was located directly across from his office. I knocked three times and though I could hear the television in his apartment and could hear footsteps, he never opened the door. I next called the 'after hours' number provided on his office recorder and left a message demanding he call me immediately. He never did.
Later that evening, a neighbor and I went to see a movie at a theatre complex in Burbank, CA. After the movie ended, we returned home. As we stepped out of his car, I asked my neighbor if he would accompany me to Mr. Wright's apartment, explaining that attempts to contact him earlier that evening had been unsuccessful.
My neighbor stood behind me, slightly to my right while I knocked 3 times. I heard the sound of shuffling footsteps and the door was opened by Mr. Wright. I identified myself and asked why he left a letter threatening to evict me unless the rent was paid, when the rent had already been left at his office earlier that day. He responded by saying, 'You're a liar.' I told him I am not a liar, check your door. He again accused me of being a liar. I asked why he had left the note on my door when the agreement all tenants signed at the time, specifically said that payments must be received no later than the 3rd of each month. He merely stated, 'This is inappropriate.' I also asked why my neighbor who had not yet paid his rent, had not been issued a letter like the one I received. Mr. Wright said, 'I haven't gotten around to doing it yet.'
I then reminded him of his calls to my apartment and told him I would proceed in filing a complaint against him. Raising his right arm, he struck me on the face with the palm of his hand. He next slammed the door to his apartment but I flinched afraid of being struck on the face and attempted to cover my face. Somehow, my hand got caught on his door jam. My neighbor and I pushed the door screaming that he open it so to release my hand, but screaming like a madman, he yelled, 'Get out, get out.' We finally pushed the door far enough to free my hand and turning, we left the building. As we walked down the street, I could feel cold pangs on my fingers and raising my hand towards the light which emanated from a street lamp, I noticed that my middle and index fingers of my right hand were covered in thick oozing blood. I asked my neighbor if there was something wrong with my hand. He immediately panicked, screaming 'Your hand, your hand.' I told him to calm down and walking to his apartment, I tried to examine my hand but could not determine the extent of my injury. I then told him that we should call 911 but he was too nervous to explain what had happened. After speaking to an operator I was told that the paramedics were on their way to my neighbor's apartment.
A short time later, the paramedics arrived and informed me that the tip of my index finger had been severed off. One paramedic walked to Mr. Wright's apartment to retrieve the missing piece while the other interviewed me and examined my injury. I was later escorted to a waiting ambulance where a policeman and policewoman were waiting. The policeman asked my neighbor and I several questions and informed us that Mr. Wright had accused me of assaulting him. I of course denied that this had occurred and was transferred to Kaiser Sunset. A physician examined my hand and the piece of finger which the paramedic was able to retrieve. She said that the severed piece had been crushed and could not be sewn back on the finger. She also said that a bone on my finger was protruding and because it was exposed, it could cause a serious infection. She said the bone would have to be severed. She also feared that the middle finger might have to be severed as it had been crushed but not mutilated.
The finger was bone was severed for a few months after this, I visited the hospital periodically to have the finger examined. Within 30 days, I received a letter from the office of the attorney representing the management company along with an eviction notice which provided me with a few days in which to vacate my premises. In the letter, the attorney alleged that I created a nuisance when I visited and threatened Mr. Wright. He further alleged that my neighbor was a witness to what I had done and would be called to provide his testimony implicating me in the alleged assault against Mr. Wright.
A few days after moving, Mr. Wright called a former employer and unknowingly spoke to my friend and co-worker. He identified himself by name but said he was a friend trying to contact me. My friend transferred him to the owner of the business who told Mr. Wright that confidential information is not divulged to persons calling their business.
I obtained legal counsel and went to court to contest the eviction, but I lost when their attorney convinced the judge that I threatened Mr. Wright this despite the testimony of my neighbor which said I had been attacked. Before we entered the courtroom, Janice Johnson the Broker and President of Millennium Property Management, Inc., asked my attorney if she could speak to my witness. Unwittingly, my attorney conceded and during a closed-door meeting which followed, Janice informed my neighbor that she had been told that he had a dog and had failed to register this fact with her office which she alleged could result in his eviction.
When they emerged from their meeting, Janice informed my attorney that she was now willing to go to court and fight their cause. It was not until later that day, that I discovered Janice's real reason for requesting to meet with my neighbor and witness.
We proceeded to the courtroom where a brief trial was held. The judge issued a judgment on the side of the property management company.
My neighbor later told me that when he went to pay his rent, Janice was in the office and she told him, 'Remember what we talked about in court. We're going to talk shortly.' He interpreted her statement as a threat.
It was not until 2006, that I went to court on this matter. I sat quietly as Sean nervously described how I allegedly assaulted him. As I turned towards the back of the courtroom, I noticed Janice Johnson sitting at the back of the courtroom, staring intently at my former neighbor, as if attempting to intimidate him. Her appearance was rather tragic as she seemed to hiding, sitting at the corner of the courtroom, clutching her purse to her chest.
My former neighbor was called eventually called to the stand. Before the trial began during opening statements, Mr. Wright's attorney, a middle-aged woman wearing clothing that only a 21 year old could wear, proclaimed that my former neighbor would provide statements confirming that I assaulted Mr. Wright. However, in his testimony, my former neighbor described a vicious instigated by Mr. Wright, which ended with the loss of my finger.
The following day, I could not be present in court to hear what decision had been made by the jury during their deliberation. Later that day, my attorney called and said that the jury agreed that I should not have visited Mr. Wright at his residence after business hours, however, they also concluded that he instigated the attack and that he caused the loss of my finger.
Janice Johnson, the attorney who filed the eviction notice, Mr. Wright, and the attorney who defended him during the Personal Injury trial, were in unison to slander my reputation and attribute Mr. Wright's attack, to me. Aside from the terrible emotional reverberations which came from the knowledge that I had been violated and that the perpetrators had succeeded in obtaining my ouster from my home under the pretense that I was a disruptive tenant, the final determinant was the vindication I had sought and overshadowed all else.
If you are a property owner, looking for a property management company to oversee your property, then I urge you to conduct extensive research about any company you are considering hiring. Contact the Better Business Bureau and the state before signing an agreement.
As for Janice Johnson, I would avoid doing business with this unethical and dishonest woman. Based what I witnessed, Janice is unscrupulous and will do whatever it takes to promote her company, including subjugating and abusing the people who each month pay rent for a place they call home. Janice Johnson, Sean Wright, and Millennium Property Management, Inc. should be avoided at all costs.