My apartment door won’t close and lock. This leaves me concerned for my safety and the security of my belongings.
I have made many attempts to have my landlord fix this issue. No luck. Perplexing, as a landlord, isn’t there some responsibility to resolve this issue in some timely fashion? I was sure he would be concerned about my safety and security.
A month later, I am losing my faith in his commitment to my safety.
Now, as a Santa Monica resident, and my knowledge of their boasting “of a city concerned about tenants and protecting tenant rights”, I contacted Santa Monica Rent Control. Time to call in the professionals.
Unknown to me, I called the wrong department. Rent Control referred me to Santa Monica Code Compliance. “They handle issues related to this”.
Super! Hello Code Compliance. What? What’s that? Your department doesn’t handle this? Los Angeles County Department of Public Health? (Strange) But I live in Santa Monica. Ok..ok…I’ll call them.
Moments later I’m speaking to the LA County Department of Public Health. Yes ma’am, I was told to contact you by Santa Monica Code Compliance. I explained the trouble. What? After explaining to me “that I have a Safety issue in my Building” I was then instructed that I need to call Santa Monica Building and Safety.
Hmmmmm … makes sense.
Hello, Building and Safety. I have a problem with my door. WHAT? But I already talked to Code Compliance. But… But…
Now, my momma didn’t raise no fool. I’m starting to feel like no ones got my back. What about that stuff about protecting tenants?
Time to speak with one of my city representatives, or better yet, the mayor. You see, I’m the CEO of a small corporation, located in Santa Monica, The buck stops with me. Maybe so with the mayor.
Surprise! “You can not speak to the mayor.” Ms Haily, of the City Managers office, explained to me. My repeated requests met the same reply, however she said she would make some phone calls and get back to me. Finally!,
Guess what … she had me contact Code Compliance. This time she even had a contact, Mr. Tejeda. Now we are getting somewhere.
The following day Mr. Tejeda told me he would be able to come out sometime next week. Really? Next week sometime? But my door … ok … please, as early as possible.
Wednesday (yesterday) I called Mr. Tejeda to follow up and traded a few voicemails. Today we finally spoke. Turns out he stopped by, the day before, while I was at work. He didn’t see a problem. He told me I’m going to have to contact the LA County Dept of Public Health.
After a major freak-out, and another call to Ms. Haily, Mr. Tejeda reluctantly agreed to come see the problem. He and his colleague arrived a short time later.
(Note to self. Going over an employees head results in an angry employee at your door.)
After a long discussion, Mr. Tejeda and Mr. Galindo informed me that “there is no code that requires a working door”, “in fact, there isn’t even a code that requires a door at all”
Hmmmmm … silly me.
Now, if I’m anything, I’m persistent.
Back to Ms. Haily with the City Manager’s office, to no avail. Then I tried the mayor’s office. “No, you may not speak to the mayor. She is not interested in your problem.”
There goes my vote!
I was then directed to speak with the City Attorneys Office. I reached Ms. Rodrigues. She doesn’t understand why I was told to contact her. She will get back to me in the near future.
Tonight, again, I go to bed with a door that will not close and lock. Another restless night. I wonder, does anyone reading this lock their doors at night before sleep?
Thanks for reading. You might call this the CliffsNotes version. Writing every detail may cause me to jump off the end of the Pier.
Tenant Troubles … who has your back?
Editor’s Note: The Daily Press has chosen to withhold the author’s name to protect his safety and property due to the lack of security in his home.