Southwest One Complex / Unfair rental practices
My complaint is about the unfair rental practices and the shoddy conditions of living at Complex Southwest One in Pointe Claire Quebec.
After having been separated I was in need of an apartment sooner than later.
It can be difficult to find a nice place to live in an area that consists mostly of residential housing and not rental apartments.
An acquaintance of mine had told me to look into southwest one complex and that i would not have any trouble getting a lease from them.
I went to southwest one and signed a lease for a one bedroom apartment, the cabinets were old and the countertops were shoddy at best, the floors were parquetry and a bit wavy, the apartment seemed to only have a primer coat of paint, it wasn't the nicest apartment i have seen but it was close to my children so that i could visit them often.
Only once i was living there did the problems begin.
Here’s the list...
1. The fridge and stove that were supplied with the apartment did not work and so they had to switch them for other (old and used) fridge and stove, this took weeks.
2. My neighbors in the adjacent apartments were smokers, for some reason which i don't know, , , the cigarette smoke and other smoke... would get through the walls at the bottom and literally stink out my apartment, i complained about this and nothing was done.
3. The air conditioning that was supplied with the apartment did not work at all, this went on for about 4 weeks...then when it did work, i couldn't get the apartment below 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so much for air conditioning.
4. Once the air conditioning did start working at its pitiful rate, the huge vent below my 3 floor window was so loud that i could barely hear my television.
5. The water in the kitchen sink bathroom sink and tub doesn't go down the drain very quickly thus leaving wrings in the sinks, and sometimes it wouldn't go down at all, this problem was dealt with a few times.
6. There was soot falling into the bathtub from a ventilation shaft that was over the tub and not closed tightly, but they fixed that by putting caulking around it...but what are we breathing???
7. The shower diffuser would get stuck and i couldn't take a shower, then they fixed it and you could take a shower when you held it out, this is a very uncomfortable way to wash…
8. The shower handle liked to fall off.
9. The parquetry flooring started popping up and off the floor in places.
10. In winter i couldn't get the heat over 64 degrees Fahrenheit, i really don't like the cold...
11. I had indoor parking, but it seemed my parking spot was the place where they swept all the floor debris before they would pick it up once a month, so i complained and was given a new spot.
12. The new parking spot dripped a rusty substance on my car, and so they again gave me a new spot...question, where was the rusty substance coming from?...the ceiling, but why???
13. Two times the basement flooded and i had to get to my car in ankle deep water destroying a pair of Reebok sneakers because i couldn't get the sewer smell out of my shoes.
14. Because i had to park outside due to the flooding in the basement, they stickered my windshield of my car with this big orange no parking sticker, they put it directly in the centre of the driver side windshield, to top it off, i couldn’t get the sticker off...
15. On two occasions during my nightmare at southwest one they were varathaning and sealing floors in apartments on my floor, the smell was so bad i had to stay in a hotel one night and at a friends the other.
16. The clincher...during my stay i would use the pool (when it was open) and had a key specifically for the pool with a little floaty attached. I had service men in my apartment all week while i was not home fixing the plumbing problems and soot problems.
While i had left for only 45 minutes during lunch the following week, my apartment was robbed of over 4000 dollars of items (laptop, camcorder, etc...) and my floaty key was broken off in the lock. HOW DID THEY GET THE FLOATY KEY??? This was a key i only used for swimming, if i would have lost it at the pool i would have been locked out!!! I still believe and so do the police and my insurance company that it was an inside job, i did mention I was only gone for 45 minutes.
At some point during my settling in to a new apartment after a separation, and leaving everything behind with the ex and my kids (after all, should i take my children’s furniture?)i started accumulating more debt buying furniture and making child care payments and not working as much because of stress, so, i had fallen behind in my rent, i just didn't have the 927 dollars to pay the month of April, so southwest one filed with the rental board. The following month i caught up on the rent and the people in the office of southwest one told me to disregard the notice that i would receive as my rent was paid, and they would cancel the court hearing.
Having a lease for 12 months with a total amount for the year of 11, 124.00 when may 31 came around i had to leave, i could have used a few more weeks to go but i did not want to get caught up in any thing else with southwest one.
I had bought a house in St. Lazare but could not move in until July 1, so i store the furniture i had and had my appliance deliveries postponed until my move in date. I stayed with my girlfriend until i could get into my new house.
It seems, back at southwest one, while i was not aware of it, they never cancelled the court date like they had said they would, they actually went to court without my knowledge and automatically won a judgment against me (for not showing up) for another months rent, I received the demand for payment of this months rent the following September.
I figured they must have forgetting that i paid the rent so I went to southwest one with my receipts and showed them that i had paid, but the month that they were demanding was for the month of JUNE...I told them that would make 13 months and they insisted my lease was for 13 months, yet my lease states 12 months and the total amount of the lease has been paid, they pointed out that the lease states 13 months where the dates are written even though the header of the lease reads 12 and the total equals the 12 months i have paid.
Now, it is March of 2008 and they still insist i pay another months rent plus fees paid at the rental board, strictly out of principle i cannot pay this even though a can afford to. They are now submitting my name to the credit bureau of Montreal to destroy my credit rating, and at this point i am seeking legal advice.