Fiancé and I just had a s***show of a week dealing with our new faceless landlords. One problem after the other revealed their ugly little heads each day last week as we “moved into” our new residence.
We either received minimal help or nothing at all. The litmus test of a terrible work culture is where multiple people clearly and definitively don’t care. Each person only cared far enough to say, “That’s not my job”. We learned some lessons about searching for a home that we had thought were locked down.
Last Tuesday we received a call from Invitation Homes letting us know our rental was ready (more than 2 weeks early). They threatened us with “5 days to take occupancy or we’ll give your rental to someone else”. Right now, it’s nearly impossible to find a place that allows a dog and is near Fiancé new job. It took us a month of searching just for this place.
We were also told that we would receive a link to pay that had to be done by the end of the week.
After multiple phone calls, we received a link Friday morning with “Sorry, but you need to pay by 2pm as we’re leaving early for the long weekend”. It felt like a hostage situation as we scrambled to make sure we had enough in our debit account to cover first and last month’s rent plus multiple deposits.
After a deflated virtual orientation with a “everything is good enough” technician, we Docu-signed our lease. We paid and asked our agent when we could expect next steps i.e. get the keys. We were simply told in an email that “you should expect the code to the lockbox sometime tonight”.
“Tonight”, as in Friday night, seemed like an odd timeframe as most people don’t work in the middle of the night when it comes to property management. Given the holiday weekend, we didn’t want to take any more chances on failing to connect with someone and tried to call the rental agent again.
This time she answered, but ripped into us, “Your’e not even supposed to have the keys until the day you move in”. We scratched our heads and thought, “Why didn’t you just tell us that in the first place? Why did you promise tonight?”. I see now that she didn’t want to admit that she had misspoke and also didn’t want to back track.
We walked in the front door and the problems were obvious. Holes in the walls, cracked tiles, chandelier missing entire sections, burn marks where they welded a pipe, and much more were found as we went through the house. Even worse, our dog got loose the next morning after we let her our for her morning ritual. The panels in the fence had fallen down. Upon inspection, we pressed on a few panels just to watch several fall over.
We didn’t want to be held responsible for these damages and were livid about the fence.
We called again to ask where we submit pictures for all the damages only to be met with a “I’ll transfer you to XXX”. We could be professional marathon runners with as much of a run-around as they were giving us.
At each point I really wanted to ask was, “Can you do anything if I complained to you?”. It would have saved us the time to explain the issues to multiple people. No one on any of those phone calls could or would help us.
The buck has to stop somewhere. If each person at a company keeps stating “That’s not my job”, then the buck stops at the customer.
Finishing Thoughts and Conclusions
I missed checking on reviews about Invitation Homes (1.15/5). Also learned that the BBB is a scam. 1/5 customer rating somehow equals A+.
I learned that we’ve been spoiled by our amazing landlord here in Union Gap. I also learned that my values (help those who ask) are not shared by everyone. That we, as a country, are moving to a post-customer experience economy where some companies can just tell you to “try and find someone else”.
I want to thank our landlord Andy for being such an amazing guy. He’s been a major support as we’ve tried to live in Central Washington. As well, I hope you found something to add to your everyday rhetoric repertoire (specifically, don’t rent from Invitation Homes if you can help it).
And, as always, thank you for reading.