Return of the Petty Tyrant

It didn’t take long for me to realize yesterday was a Lost Day.  I woke up agitated and anxious, and the depression underneath only worsened as the morning progressed.  So, I just let go of my plans and went home to hibernate and wait it out.

As I settled in with my lunch, someone knocked on my door.  It was my apartment manager with the bedbug-sniffing dog and his handler from Preferred Pest Control come to inspect my apartment.  We’re supposed to receive 24 hours notice of inspection. After I refused to let them in, I sat down and wrote a letter to the corporate office of Keyway Management, the apartment management firm.

Here’s what I said:

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to complain about the process of giving notice in regards to apartment inspection by Preferred Pest Control and the canine inspection for bed bugs.

In November of 2011, the apartment maintenance man arrived with the canine and his handler.  I had not received notice of the inspection.  Since I have pets, I knew the inspection might prove a false positive, so I did not allow the inspection to take place.  I asked specifically that I receive notice of the next inspection.  Later, I discovered that the rest of the tenants had received written notice in their mailboxes.

Today, the apartment manager came to my door with the canine and handler.  Again, I had not received notice of the inspection.  Ms. Mancina said notice was posted in the complex’s laundry room.  When I told her I did not use the laundry room, she said that was the only notice she was required to give.  Again, I said I would not allow the inspection.

Information from Preferred Pest Control and other sources states animals should be removed or secured at least one hour prior to inspection.  I allowed an inspection in 2011 while my pets were in the apartment and received a positive reading from the canine.  I believe this was a false positive.  Since then I follow all the recommendations about preparing for the visit, including removing my pets.  But, I can’t do that if I don’t have 24 hours notice.

Management has used several methods of notifying tenants of inspections (notes taped to the apartment door or left in each tenant’s mailbox, phone calls).  I was never informed, nor is it written in any of the HUD or rental contracts, that the laundry room is the site for official notice to tenants.

The HUD handbook on Resident Rights and Responsibilities states tenants have “the right to be given reasonable notice, in writing, of any non-emergency inspection or other entry into your apartment.”  I don’t think my request for consistent, written notice 24 hours prior to the inspection is unreasonable.

I want to comply and make sure the previous bed bug manifestation at our complex never happens again.  I also want enough time to prepare my apartment correctly for the canine.  As each tenant has received written notice in their mailboxes before, I ask that this be the method of notification.  I should not be penalized because I do my laundry elsewhere.

Thank you for your attention in this matter

I was so angry I could barely speak.  It was clear Linda thought I was lying about not getting a notice last time.  I wasn’t very coherent while I was arguing with her or when I shut the door in her face and locked it.  Her incompetence and ass-covering always makes me stupid with shock.  The treatment for bedbugs is incredibly expensive.  So, why wouldn’t she do everything possible to make sure the inspections are performed correctly?  The only answer is that she’s too lazy or, if I’m more gracious, too disorganized to do that.

When I first moved in, she hinted that she was doing me a favor by letting me have two cats.  The policy on pets is vague (like most stipulations in the contract), so I asked that she put something in writing that grants me permission to have both my cats.  She refused.  Even after my sister also asked, she still refused.

This makes me very nervous.  It’s like a threat of eviction out there in the dark, so I try to stay far off her radar.  I’m afraid this letter will put me back in her sites.  But, I’m equally afraid that my refusals to let the inspectors and the dog in are also setting me up for eviction.  I feel like I have to cover my butt the best I can.

I hate how this woman can rip all sense out of my head, how my anger consumes me, and how long it lasts.  I’ve been meditating, self-talking, distracting and trying to sleep for 15 hours now, and I’m no closer to calm.  It will take time and continued effort.  More breathing, more distraction, more clearing of illusion and focusing on the present.

At this moment, my boys and I are not in danger.  At this moment, I have done all I can to protect myself.  At this moment, all is well.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. carlarenee45
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 06:34:24

    Oh how I so can relate to you on this! I have had this problem in just about every place I have lived. Even before I was this sick and I worked,. a manager would mention about being in my apartment while I was gone. Once my landlord brought some investors into my home and I was working third shift, so it was like night time for me. No knock, no warning, just walked right in, and I had company btw. Now after I have had the breakdown and I have a lot of paranoia, I can’t take it. I have told the maintanience man this, but he still comes to my door without warning with a bang, bang ,bang on my door. Which throws me into a panic attack. I live in fear everyday that someone is going to show up at my door. So I don’t need that. I have told all of them everytime that I have a right to a 24 hr notice.I did this once at an apartment complex I lived in, where I was in the shower, as I got out I heard someone waltzing into my door. I came to the top of the stairs and told him he was not welcome without a notice. He was trying to clean out something to do with the central air (no emergency). He turned around and left. The next thing I know they put a citation on my door over someones toys being in front of my apt. That weren’t even my childrens. Which was a point against me so that if I had gotten two more points, I would be evicted. Sorry to go on a rant like this, but I thought it was becasue I live in such an ignorant town. I am so sorry that you are having to put up with this too. I hope writing the letter works for you. Good luck!


    • Sandy Sue
      Feb 29, 2012 @ 10:18:47

      This is exactly the kind of thing I’m worried about. Retaliations and threats. If anything like this happens, though, I know a lawyer who would help me.


  2. littlesundog
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 08:35:16

    My goodness, I felt the old and familiar crazy, inner turmoil reading this that I have felt so many times in life. I hate feeling the need to protect myself and cover all bases to cover my butt. It’s time consuming and drains me emotionally and mentally. Like you, I seem to get carried away with anger. I rehearse scenarios, get completely eaten up with my thoughts. That’s where “living in the moment” helps. I often sit outside and observe the birds and squirrels (and Daisy deer if she’s around) and I remember that the crazy stuff isn’t happening at this moment…


    • Sandy Sue
      Feb 29, 2012 @ 10:21:03

      With things like this, it’s hard for me to know what’s “real.” Am I being threatened or am I paranoid? I have to ask my sister and my friends for a reality check. This time, according to them, it seems like I’m on target.


  3. Kathryn McCullough
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 11:20:40

    Sometimes the ineptitude of HUD-management still amazes me. I think they must count on dealing with people who won’t notice or take the time to complain. Good for you, my friend!


  4. dalsher
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 20:59:19

    Hope you are doing better today. We are having a great time in Lawton.


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