If You See Your Manager Doing Something UnethicalJanuary 12th, 2009 by Oh My Apartment
Not all apartment managers are perfect. Sometimes you move into an apartment complex and find out that the apartment manager acts more like a list of ‘what not to do at work’ than like a professional. Even in theses cases, though, there are steps you can take to protest your apartment manager’s actions.
Jeff Staley heads up the Apogee Companies, a property management company that manages apartment communities in eleven states. He suggests that, if an apartment resident feels that the manager of his or her complex has acted inappropriately, that the resident should start by attempting to resolve issues with the onsite manager. If it doesn’t work, though, Staley says, “The resident should be able to make direct contact with the office of the management company and speak directly with the manager’s supervisor. The supervisor will typically be very responsive to concerns of this nature and protect the confidentiality of the resident if appropriate.”
If you’re worried about unethical behavior on the part of an apartment manager, it’s worthwhile to document your concerns. The possible problem areas are extensive, and the appropriate kind of documentation can vary. If, for instance, the apartment manager instructed a maintenance man to paint over mold on a wall rather than repairing it, you might take before and after photos of the wall. If the problem is more along the lines of tenant-manager relations — perhaps the apartment manager is romantically involved with a tenant — you may only be able to note down the time and date you’ve seen the apartment manager behaving inappropriately.
It’s also worthwhile to check with your fellow tenants to see if they’ve had a problem with the apartment manager’s behavior. While you don’t need complex-wide agreement to take an issue to the property management company, it is a good idea to make sure that you know how other tenants are interpreting the situation. It may be hard to misinterpret mold on the walls, but it’s very easy for people to get different ideas about a romantic relationship.
No matter what sort of behavior you have a concern about, the best course of action is just as Staley says: take both your concerns and your documentation to the property management company. It’s up to them to determine how to handle the problem.
Experienced a similar situation in the past? Let us know what happened and how you handled it.