San Jose Mercury Newsducket and wilson management company and david lam property manager

J Dec 21, 2017


I am reaching out to you because we are in dire need of your assistance in dealing with an ongoing issue with the Property Management company [Duckett Wilson Property Mgmnt] who oversees my business's property. My name is Johanne Desjardins and I own a small business called Pure Bliss Float Center. We are located within a San Jose strip mall at 6055 Meridian Ave.

I spent 17 months in getting my new business open. [April 2016-Sept. 2017] During that time, we had many setbacks and delays which were caused by our property management company. Just a few of the delays were:
Leaky roof --and the prop. mgmt company's delay in fixing them --which damaged or delayed our contractor's work inside
Damage to a shared tenant wall [prop mgmt company's responsibility] and no direct involvement by Duckett Wilson to fix
No working heater or AC from a broken legacy AC unit on roof. Duckett Wilson has not hired a contractor to fix nor given any updates for months. This has gone on since Sept. 2017. My clients and staff are freezing!!
Can't finalize our electrical final inspection due to the actions of a roofing subcontractor hired by Ducket Wilson who refinished our roof. More detail about this is expressed in this letter.
Can't pass our fire & safety inspection due to missing sprinkler system tags that are the responsibility of the property owner and property management company
My business has 3 treatment rooms which require the temperatures of those rooms to be kept at a different temperature for the comfort of our clients. As a result, Pure Bliss hired an electrical and HVAC contractor to professionally install a new heating/cooling unit on the roof just for these 3 rooms. The existing legacy AC unit heats/cools the other common areas of our business.

Duckett Wilson has been promising to fix our leaky roof for over a year. They finally started the refinishing of our roof in July of 2017. They hired a roofing contractor to do this. This roofing contractor ended up uninstalling our new AC unit in order to redo the roof. However, their uninstall was done unprofessionally; they pulled out several feet of AC conduit through the roof, compromising the integrity of the connection points to our indoor units and never consulted with us to help coordinate this. In addition, they uninstalled the electrical setup and left the quick-connect box dangling on the roof floor. When it came time to re-install, they threw away the AC's base platform, created a new makeshift platform, installed the unit in a completely different location, left the exposed AC conduit showing on the roof, and improperly re-installed the electrical system.

As a result, when it came time for our final inspection, we could not pass electrical inspection due to the shoddy install of the AC system up there. We communicated these issues to Duckett Wilson immediately via tel and email in the middle of September, right after failing our final inspection. We also communicated to Duckett Wilson in Sept. the issue we found with the existing, legacy AC unit. Upon inspection by a HVAC contractor Pure Bliss hired, it was discovered that the existing unit had never been properly serviced over the decades of its' serviced, and now suffered from bad heating elements and a dead circuit board electronics. We had no working AC or heating from this point on. The HVAC contractor recommended that the entire unit be replaced, and were very willing to work with our property mgmt company in order to facilitate this. Our HVAC contractor said that -- with Duckett Wilson's approval -- they could have a new unit installed and working for us within a matter of 2 weeks. We passed this information on to Ducktett Wilson, as well, and put them in contact with our HVAC contractor.

Needless to say, Duckett Wilson has done nothing to resolve any of the issues I've described above [shared wall damage; broken legacy AC unit; piss-poor reinstall of our new AC unit and electrical]. Every time we call or email, we get a verbal "We're on it!!" yet nothing gets done.

I've had to already pay for one temporary certificate of occupancy [in Sept] with the city of San Jose, costing me $1, 020. This was necessary for me to start doing business. I will have to pay for another temporary certificate [$1, 020] at the end of this month due to the fact that Ducktett Wilson has done nothing to fix the issues yet. We have an email thread of numerous email attempts made to Duckett Wilson by myself and other contractors whom we've hired at different times during our project. From Sept - Oct, our clients sweated their butts off due to no AC in the common areas. Now our same clients are freezing due to no heat in our place of business. In addition, we also have the smell of sewage gas creeping into our workplace from the unused, open HVAC return duct in our hallway [All sewage smell escapes through traps for our business and adjacent tenants through the roof; with no working return duct system on our legacy HVAC unit, we have an open pathway for the smell to creep back into our business.]

In regards to our failing our fire inspection, the inspector informed us that the property --which all shares one sprinkler system; no individual fire alarm systems -- failed inspection due to missing tags on the fire riser system. The inspector said this was not our responsibility to provide but for the property management company/building owner to provide. We informed Ducket Wilson of this issue immediately [late Aug-early Sept], and they have failed to fix/provide proper documentation in over 3-1/2 months.

In regards to the damage to our shared tenant wall, the neighboring tenant [a restaurant] made some unauthorized modifications to the inside of his space which resulted in dirty grease water to spill over through our shared wall and into our space whenever the restaurant performed a cleaning of their cooking system. We had just paid tens of thousands of dollars to have our side of this shared wall turned into an acoustical sound wall in order to keep the restaurant noise to a minimum. We informed Duckett Wilson about the damage and although the shared wall being their responsibility, they have refused to get involved. In fact, they even denied our requests to have them pass along our neighboring tenant's liability insurance information so that we could initiate a damage claim with them. Duckett Wilson has been completely hands-off in everything.

We've made phone calls to Duckett Wilson weekly; we emailed on numerous occasions; we've sent them documentation, pictures, statements for contractors we've hired, etc. whenever Duckett Wilson requested it. We've made attempts to different personnel within their company. We've tried to engage some of their contractors directly in order to help facilitate a speedy repair. And we have gotten no where. We are at our wit's end and have been stretched financially by this project and delays from the project management company. Hiring an attorney would place further burden on me, and I'm still trying to have these issues handled in a way that would make hiring an attorney unnecessary. I'm hoping that your team could help us in trying to have these matters resolved.

I can be reached at the following:

Johanne Desjardins
[protected] tell

Property Management company info:
Duckett Wilson
Abigail Johnson [project manager] - [protected]
David Lam [project manager's boss]- [protected]

Looking forward to your reply.

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