Thursday, September 24, 2009

MNM Partners, LLC -- part 2

In a surprising, and refreshing change of pace, the executive team of MNM Partners is very responsive.  From all of my previous experiences dealing with MNM Partners (who manages 321 Oxford Way (Oxford Manor) in Belmont), I did not have high hopes that anything was going to result from my angry email last night.

The tenant downstairs, I found out later, was an unemployed electrician who does nothing all day and just smokes out and parties.  I constantly overhear him complain while he is out on his patio about how he was wronged and how he doesn't have a job and how the world is against him.  Seriously, if you're a convicted ex-felon, who can't manage your own money (again, two massive flat-screen TV and a Camero, but can't pay rent), or keep a job.  I don't think it's society's fault -- and it sure as hell isn't my fault.  I feel like these are the exact individuals they should parade kids in front of, as an example of a drain on society and who not to be when they grow up.

The guy has absolutely no respect for his neighbors and actually replied, "if you don't shut up I'll turn the music up."  This is of course after I reached out nicely to said neighbor in response to him turning his music so loud at 11 pm during the weeknight that my floors (and his ceiling) was vibrating from his music.  My girlfriend very calmly and intelligently reminded me I had more to loose.  I decided it would be better for me not to return and take a crowbar to the side of his head.  Sadly, this isn't an uncommon occurrence as there are quite a few "bad apples" that ended up in this complex -- needless to say their previous tenant screening process wasn't very strict.

Instead, I wrote a long email to the management, detailing the concerns I have, my frustrations with the condition of the unit, as well as the neighbor downstairs.  The options I have laid out was, (1) allow me to break my lease with a full refund of my deposit, (2) move me to a different unit for the remainder of my lease, (3) get rid of the guy below (which I admit in the email is both the least probable and least reasonable -- but I was angry at the time).  Lastly, if all of that failed, I was prepared for it to get ugly.  Based on my prior experience with their employees, I was not expecting much to happen.  I grumpily went to bed.

This morning I received a call from one of the managing partners, Michael.   Amazingly, Michael was extremely courteous and straight forward.  I enjoy dealing with professionals and not second class citizens with a chip on their shoulder.  Michael explained that the previous manager of the property, although a very nice and kind fellow, did not execute and left things to deteriorate.  They trusted the management of the property to them and because no one complained to the management company, they did not know the conditions that 321 Oxford Way was left in.  The new manager was given the task to rescue a sinking ship, so he has been doing the best that he can.

Personally, I took that explanation with a grain of salt.  Although I trust my employees, I would have thought they would periodically drive out and just check out the condition of the apartment.  In addition, they made it fairly difficult for individuals to reach the management team with a complaint.  I had to do a little research online myself to figure out who owned and managed this property, and my guess is the majority of the residents felt/thought the manager was the only individual they can complain to. Lastly, the team that had been maintaining the property (who are mainly from what I can see a bunch of kids) are still there.

Regardless, he was actually very accommodating and reasonable.  Michael offered to speak with the tenant downstairs regardless if I stay or not (turns out he actually works part time for MNM Partners, go figure), and gave me the first two options I offered up.  I can either stay in a new unit (but with no guarantees that the tenants around me won't be crazy ex-felons with a chip on their shoulder) or move out with a full refund of my complete deposit. 

Turns out Michael is actually relieved if I do decide to end my lease early.  Because of the breed of my dog, it's a large liability for rental companies (i.e. apartments) to take on.  My guess is that Michael did the math and decided that it's financially better for him to give up the deposit than to retain the liability of my dog. Unfortunate for him, I was smart enough to have the specific breed of my dog written into the contract.  I guess he's proposing to buy me out.

Michael does have a good point, as you can see from my previous post, it's very difficult to rent an apartment with a dog that's considered a dangerous breed.  There is a possibility I can "donate" my dog to my parents, but I am uncertain if he'll survive in the wilderness of Portola Valley.  Contrary to popular belief, my "dangerous" doberman is actually pretty useless except for licking and petting.

Now I have decisions I need to make... and a new place to find.

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