The Big Move…

January 4, 2012

…wasn’t so big. Wow, how anticlimactic was that?

In all seriousness, thanks to Dad and Baby Bro, the move was incredibly easy. On New Year’s Day, we left the house at 10 a.m. with the first truckload and, after a few more trips, we were done before 1:30 p.m. Sounds easy peasy, right? What wasn’t so easy was the day before: New Year’s Eve. If you followed my tweets, excuse me for repeating myself, but I want to share what happened with those who don’t.

Just after 9 a.m. on NYE, I called the acting building manager (regular building manager is on vacay) to find out when I could pickup my keys. “Want to meet me at 11 a.m.?” she asked. Of course I do! In typical Cait fashion, I arrived 3 minutes early for the appointment. After waiting outside for 18 minutes, watching my hands turn red from the cold weather, I called her back. Hi, this is Cait… we were supposed to meet at 11? “Oh right, sorry. I’ll be right there.”

She arrived at 11:30 a.m. I wasn’t thrilled about the waste of time but ensured my frustration didn’t show on my face. That was, until we got in the elevator. On the ride up, she let me know that the dishwasher wasn’t cleaned and, worse, that it was broken. I asked if she was going to call someone to come fix it. No, you can talk to your building manager when he gets back next week. Ok…

After a quick walk-through of the apartment, it was obvious to anybody with half-decent vision that it hadn’t been cleaned. At all. There were long black hairs everywhere, pubes all over the bathroom (yes, I gagged), and a layer of dust covered everything. I made a few references re: my disgust and she, again, told me to talk to my building manager. A solid effort, on her part.

She handed me my keys and walked me out, with no answers to my concerns. And I’m a little embarrassed to admit this next part but when I got back to my car I started bawling. Only for a minute or two, and out of pure frustration, but I just couldn’t handle it. I knew I was going to do a quick clean of the bathroom and kitchen when I moved in, because… that’s just what you do! But it didn’t feel fair that I had to clean every inch of it, to make it livable.

Thanks to Genna’s advice, I called the property management company and filed a complaint. I told them I wouldn’t be moving in – or paying rent, for that matter – until it was cleaned. Within 30 minutes, a property manager called me to apologize and said he would get the acting building manager to clean the apartment herself. She then called me to confirm and, despite probably being P.O.’d about having to do it, her efforts showed.

I wasn’t going to blog about that fiasco because, at the end of the day, the move went smoothly and I’m happy (although I’ll be happier when my dishwasher is fixed). But I thought I would include it as a message for anyone who may be going through something similar. Whether it’s about moving, working, banking, whatever – if you know you’re entitled to something, ask for it! I could have cleaned the apartment myself. I could not have filed a complaint. And the old me would’ve kept quiet. But the new me recognized that I would have spent 4-6 hours doing a job someone else was supposed to do. And since I technically wasn’t responsible for the apartment that day, I knew it wasn’t my job.

Later this week, I’ll post about unpacking, decluttering, etc. and I’ll try to include a few pics!

Have you ever demanded something you were entitled to?

  • Newlyweds on a Budget January 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

    way to go! that’s awesome!

    i think a lot of times we just tend to stay quiet to avoid drama. but this was one time you def should have stood up–and it paid off!

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Thanks. And you’re right about avoiding drama… I think a lot of people do that (myself included).

  • A+J January 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Good for you, C! When I moved into my first apartment during college, my mom was horrified at the condition it was in. It hadn’t been cleaned either. She called the manager (I was so embarrassed) and demanded they clean. Which they did.

    Now I would do the same thing. I’ve totally turned into my mother. Including watching the screen carefully at the grocery store and making sure everything rings up correctly. I used to be mortified at her behavior, and I understand it now. Haha.

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Haha, that’s a great story. Thanks for reminding me I have turned into both of my parents :P

  • Jaime January 4, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Way to go! Genna doesn’t take any crap…I’m glad she offered you that suggestion. Congrats on your new place.

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:30 am


  • Devon Mills January 4, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I can’t imagine moving OUT of a place and leaving it dirty like that! I want every cent of my cleaning deposit back. : )

    Good for you for standing up for yourself!

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:31 am

      Exactly! When I moved out of my last place, I cleaned for probably a good 6 hours. Obviously we know the guy doesn’t mind throwing away money ;)

  • Little Miss Moneybags January 4, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Good for you!

  • Clare - Never Niche January 4, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Unprofessional on their part and SO GOOD for you to stand up to them because it sets the standard for how they treat you during your entire tenancy. TAKE NO PRISONERS!

    Happy unpacking. :)

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:31 am

      Haha… I heart you.

  • Steve @ Canadian Personal Finance January 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    As a rental owner, it is important to always make sure your apartments are top notch clean.

    I have had amazing renters that even left the place cleaner than how I left it for them.

    I have seen some horror stories over the last few years and it is a challenge for property owners (the management company should have done a walk-through with you when delivering the keys).

    Good for you to demand satisfaction.

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:33 am

      And isn’t it true that since they didn’t do a move-in inspection, they can’t do one when I move out? I’m the absolute last person who would ever do damage to a place but I heard that this weekend and think it’s interesting (/idiotic) that they didn’t do one.

      Thanks for the comment, Steve!

  • sarah January 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Good for you for standing up and saying something!

    We’re currently dealing with a similar issue. Boyfriend went to move into his new apartment and the whole place smells like cigarette smoke! His roommate already has his things moved in, but boyfriend is, hopefully, going to complain.

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:33 am

      I hope he says something too!

  • lifeisfullofsunnydays January 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Good for you! I’m glad you put your foot down. Now hopefully your dishwasher can be fixed before month end.

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:34 am

      There’s a chance it’ll be done by the end of this week! :)

  • addvodka January 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Wow. As if moving isn’t stressful enough! I don’t blame you for breaking down. I would be bawling like a baby. I hate stuff like that – extra added stress!

    I think it’s great that you stood up for yourself and got the place cleaned!

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Thank you for not calling me a baby! :P

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  • singletothepenny January 5, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I am really glad it all worked out!
    Standing up for yourself is one of the most important things you can do, at the end of the day if you don’t noone else might.
    Can’t wait to hear how living on your own is going!

  • beingirene January 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    So exciting!! Can’t wait to see pictures – the decluttering/finding homes for all your stuff is always so tedious – but satisfying at the same time. Good luck making it your home, enjoy the process :) I’ll be looking for lots of tips – since we only have 6 weeks til our move in date!

  • centsofacountrygirl January 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Ugh, cleaning really isn’t that hard. I don’t understand why some people are so adverse to it. I am glad to hear you stood your ground and got the apartment cleaned. Hopefully the dishwasher won’t be long getting fixed.

    My most recent act of entitlement was just before the closing date on my house. I did a last minute inspection and found that the previous owner had left tons of his crap in the house. I made the realtor call him right then and there and tell him he had to get his stuff out.

    I wish I had of looked in the shed though. Yesterday I found his dirty, smelly hockey equipment.

    • Cait January 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      What!? Oh my goodness! Why wouldn’t he want that? Hockey gear is so expensive! (Maybe because it was dirty and smelly… hmm.)

  • Jen @ SheBloggs January 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I gagged along with you about the pubes. Eww!

    How did they think they could get away with having you move into a dirty apartment. The problem is that a lot of people would have just sucked it up and cleaned it themselves.Good for you for not putting up with that!

    When I moved into my first rental apartment, my fridge didn’t work. I didn’t realize it at first and stalked it up. I asked for a new one and got another broken one. My building manager told me to stop being a ‘drama queen’ – great customer service. Like you, I called the property management office and became a REAL drama queen. They got me a new fridge within two hours AND paid for some of the food that went bad.