Sunday, March 6, 2011

Movin' On Up To the Northside

Well, technically I am moving up in the world. From ghetto South Central to glamorous North Hollywood. Though despite my change in latitude, I really see this as a lateral move rather than an upgrade. I was super excited to find a one bedroom for not much more than my studio, plus when you subtract the cost of the ever-rising gas prices, it's a great deal. And it's a great apartment, in theory. But when I saw it this morning in the harsh light of day, I realized several things:

1. It wasn't painted. Which I wouldn't care, but it really looks bad. All sorts of scuffs and marks and dirt.
2. The sinks and counters are dirty, like they were never cleaned.
3. There are holes in the walls that they didn't even bother to spackle.
4. The cupboards are in terrible shape. They are grimy and stained. They also need contact paper.
5. There is a hole in the bedroom where a outlet plate used to be.
6. The light in the bedroom is basically a bare bulb.
7. There's a random CHP bumper sticker on the front door (which is filthy).
8. The overhead light in the kitchen is broken and dirty.
9. There's probably more that I'm forgetting, but you get my point.

I hate to rant about stuff like this. I have super-low standards (I live in South Central, exhibit A), and I am not the kind of person who files formal complaints or asserts her rights as a tenant. Which is why my heater and a/c have been broken for a year and a half. And then I get all passive aggressive and whine about it online or to my mom without actually getting the problem fixed or fixing it myself. And that's on me.

But still, when you rent an apartment, even a cheaper one in a quasi-ghetto, you expect certain things. Especially if the previous tenant lived there for over 5 years. Fresh paint is not too much to ask for. No gaping holes in the wall isn't either. It's mostly the kind of stuff that on its own isn't a big deal. But when you realize that there's a flaw in every room, that's all you can see. And I don't have a lot of time, energy, money, skill or patience to fix this stuff myself.

Maybe it's the beer I had at lunch (yes I actually went out and bought beer on my own accord for the first time ever), but I just feel super down about this now. It's taken all the fun out of setting up a new place and all the possibilities that come with it. I know you get what you pay for, but seriously? I'm just wondering if this is going to be worth the pain in the ass it's been so far to move. Because right now I'm having major renter's remorse.

I remember the first day I moved into my current apartment and just looking around, completely stoked that I had my own place. It was fresh and clean and cute, even if it was in a bad part of town. But moving into the new place just feels like putting on someone else's dirty laundry. That's the best way I can think of to describe it.

The worst part is, I am just not comfortable asking for things. I hate to inconvenience people, even if I'm the one being inconvenienced. I know it's important to be assertive, but on the other hand, it's almost more important to me to have a good relationship with people I have to be in contact with frequently. I hate and avoid awkward situations at all costs. But what do you say? Um... I'm sorry, I think you missed a spot during the week plus that you had to get this apartment ready for a new tenant who is paying a significant portion (even if it is cheap for LA).

I guess I'm going to go back there later this afternoon to take some before pictures and maybe do some cleaning. It just sucks because I shouldn't have to. I'm already going to bust my ass cleaning this apartment because that's what a decent person does when you move out. Or a decent landlord who understands that apartments need to be clean and ready for the new tenant. That's why there's a freaking security deposit, folks. Maybe it's because I now work in the industry, at a place where the standard is impeccable. All the people who call me to bitch about the tiniest thing have now been wearing off on me and I've become the kind of person I hate.

I apologize that my first blog in weeks is such a boring downer. But I really needed to get this off my chest before I resume dragging my stuff up to the Valley. Sigh.


  1. You seriously need to complain to your landlord. Surely you can back out before you move in, if they don't clean it up?

    On the other hand, if you end up doing it all yourself, at least you are guaranteed your security deposit back when you eventually move out! Make sure to take lots of "before" pictures as proof.

    Was there a good bar nearby, at least?

  2. Um I do not think it is unreasonable AT ALL to expect the landlord to clean up the apartment you're renting after someone has moved out of it!! I would be LIVID if I moved in and the place had that much wrong with it.

    As long as you're nice about it and just call and say "Hey, you guys might have missed a few things over here and this place is kind of dirty" they can't really fault you, you know?

  3. You guys are right. And it just occurred to me that she had told me her key wasn't working when she tried to have my new fridge delivered. So maybe she didn't get a chance to do it...I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt because she's really nice (though kind of ditzy). I'm e-mailing her now.