Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Adventures in New Orleans Real Estate

$1250 Renters Beware! (Treme)
Reply to: hous-244431953@craigslist.org
Date: 2006-12-05, 10:49AM CST

I would like to warn my fellow New Orleans residents and renters to avoid doing business with Jennie V. Smith, Esq. and her stepfather, Frank. A neighbor, Greg, posted an ad here for the double shotgun they are renovating at 1526 Ursulines Ave. at Robertson. A friend and I put down a deposit on this apartment in early November for a December 1 move-in and when we went to check things out two days before our move, Frank announced that not only was the central heating unit not functioning, it was not even installed. He promised to buy us space heaters that evening and did not - repeat pattern for the next morning and the next evening.

In addition, the outside deadbolt was still broken that Friday, December 1, and we were not given keys for all of the doors - unlike the handful of workmen and Greg, bringing up obvious security and safety issues. Contrary to what we were told again and again, repairs and other work were still going on when we were due to move in, which would have given us zero privacy and created problems like our pets running out, as all of the doors were left wide open, not to mention that we would have been paying for all of the electricity being utilized. These men also felt it was a good idea to leave the gas stovetop burners on to heat the place, along with the two small heaters that finally arrived Friday and which we most certainly would have had to fight over with the workmen.

In what was to be our home.

The deal was officially off on December 1 when Jennie refused to give us a reasonable date in writing for the heating to be fixed; she had no problem taking our deposit money though the heating unit was not even installed, which, again, no one made us aware until two days before our move. She told us that she did not want to do business with us when we insisted on something in writing, and both of them treated us like we were crazy for being upset that the place was unheated, filthy, with unflushed toilets, natch, a non-functioning deadbolt, and other promised and basic amenities unfinished -- no rods in several of the closets, no shelves in the pantry, no mirrors in the bathroom, an incomplete and unstable porch. There were many good amenities, such as a dishwasher, newly finished hardwood floors and a new stove and refrigerator, but paying for renovations while living among them is unacceptable and we can't help but wonder if this is their m.o. (I.e., just how many security deposits have they collected?)

Fortunately, we were able to stay in our current apartments or we would have been homeless. As is, this has created major inconveniences with our mail and having to unpack and move back the preliminary items we had moved over (books, cookware, pantry items). We did get our deposit back, though Frank tried to get our keys, vis-a-vis the workmen, before we had our belongings and deposit back. We had finished loading my vehicle when he arrived with the deposit check, but felt so threatened by the combined shady tactics, as well as his large stature and now unfriendly demeanor, that my prospective roommate had "911" dialed on his cell in the event that the behavior escalated.

Jennie signed the letter voiding our contract with "kindest regards" --- as if their behavior was at all kind, professional, or acceptable.

Buyer beware.

This kind of short-sighted and unethical behavior is driving honest, hardworking citizens from this city in droves and, though it is blamed on "Katrina," the disaster is more the scapegoat than the cause of this conduct.

* Location: Treme
* It's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


Blogger anomaly76 said...

Please tell me this wasn't you. Pretty please!

That is fucking horrific!

10:29 AM  

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