My oldest son lives in an apartment downtown that strikes me as a fairly obvious firetrap. He’s been there for five years or so, and I finally bought him smoke detectors last summer when I noticed he didn’t have any. (The owner installed the wired ones required by code about six months ago.)
The front windows have large cracks covered by rotting duct tape. Oy.
He has two roommates. In the past week, power surges have blown out a total of five of their surge protectors. (Whee!) The landlord is renting the downstairs storefront and, as they’ve been working to separate the electrical system for separate billing, it keeps blowing out the rest of the building.
I found this out when my son called to ask me if it was “normal” for surge protectors to burn up. (As in “melt.”)
Anyway, I’ve often wondered how they could rent this place in such bad condition. I didn’t get involved because, well, it’s cheap and it’s near where my kid works. But I did a little search last night and found out the property is owned by a politician. (You saw that coming, right?)
My son’s really stressed out because his roommates say they’re going to move out and stick him with the lease, so I offered to speak to the rental agent on his behalf.
She gave me a bit of a runaround, tried to blame everything on them. I told her the issue was my son’s safety and brought up the lack of smoke detectors. “But he should have told me!” was her response.
“If you’re a rental agent, you know what the city requires to get a use and occupancy certificate,” I said. “He shouldn’t have had to tell you, you should have known.” (Since the city requires wired smoke detectors, how is it she didn’t know?)
Then I told her I noticed the place didn’t have any fire extinguishers, either. “Oh, I’ll see that they get them,” she said.
Anyway, I haven’t had to drop the politician’s name yet. We’ll see if the electrician shows up this week to rewire the property, as promised. Let’s just say they’re on my radar.