Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Complex

There are four apartment complexes within my first in district. As the development of my district has only been under way for the last 15 years or so, the area is heavily zoned and therefore laid out in an atheistically pleasing fashion. The main thoroughfares are landscaped as are the medians and open spaces.

The apartment complexes are marketed as luxury units. Each complex has a recreation complex including a gym, pool and common area. Many of the units have garages, all have parking spaces under carports. The units are nice, the grounds well maintained.and the complexes are usually pretty quiet. We have had several members of our department reside in these complexes, often as a result of marital status changes.

 Actual shot of the pool area (kyped off of the internet)
As we perform company inspections at a few of them, we are usually pretty aware of their occupancy rates, their rents and the general condition of the complex. Traditionally, the rents have not been cheap. Rents start around $1200 a month and climb to around $2000, depending on size, floor and location within the complex.

We were a little surprised last shift as we pulled up to a unit and saw a different scene than we were used to seeing. Our call was in a ground floor apartment and was for chest pains in a 26 yr old female. There was a  multitude of people milling around outside, many of whom were shouting and speaking very loudly.  My first impression was that there was a party in the building, but as some people in the group were entering various apartments it became apparent that these people just belonged there.

Numerous dirty diapers were tossed out onto the ground floor patio, as were several trash bags. Hip-hop music was coming from either an apartment or a parked car. I took all of this in as we entered the apartment, my impression of the apartment interior was no better.

Several former owners of the soiled diapers were in the bedroom where our patient was located, several requests had to be made before one of several tatted-up women came and removed them. The apartment was a pig sty, food containers, debris and clothing were strewn about, the toddlers walking on the rubbish as they wandered around the place. 

The medical call was quickly resolved, the patient loaded and transported to the hospital. The scene on the outside didn't change upon our exit, if anything the crowd grew. It was noticeable enough that we discussed it as we left the scene..

None of us could remember ever seeing people "just hanging around" at that complex, nor could we recall hearing loud music or seeing trash on the balcony. Frankly, it was a scene straight out of The Big House of Pain, a station that I left many years ago.

I commented that something must have changed at the complex, either the rents or deposits have been lowered, they are accepting housing vouchers (not likely) or someone hit the lottery and brought all of their family into a group of units.

We all agreed that if we were living in a nearby unit, we would be pissed due to the noise and trash. We also agreed that we would be looking for another place to live. People pay those big rent bucks to live in a nice place, not to put up with neighbors B.S.

This is a situation that the management is going to have to monitor, or else their vacancy rate will rise. Then they will have to lower rents and the number of problem children will increase, causing further vacancies etc. etc. etc. This could be a pivotal time in the life cycle of the complex. Played wrong, it could be the start of Healing Place's first "bad neighborhood", an honor no complex wants - nor do we.

We will be monitoring the situation closely over the coming months. We are scheduled to inspect the complex in the next month or so, I may discuss the issue with the manager. If the trash and diapers are still present on the patio, I will definitely write the complex up for that. A warm summer day and a patio full of dirty diapers do not make for a pleasant living experience. Maybe I'll try to get Sloven to rent a neighboring unit, he would fit right in.

He'd be close to work too, maybe that would help him show up on time!

Thanks for reading,


  1. Cap,

    That apartment complex is a microcosm of my whole area. A few troublemakers move in, and all the decent folks bail, leaving space for more troublemakers. The sad thing is, rather than recognizing culture and lack of respect are the problems, the race card is immediately thrown and it's "white flight". A recent article published by the AP about Southfield, MI pointed out that the middle class blacks who built that city are being driven out by dirtbags moving in and disrespecting their property and laws. A man who bought a house in Southfield complains the city keeps giving him tickets for garbage and junk on his property, he can't understand why, because it was okay in Detroit.

    If you're interested, one place to find the article is here:

  2. It's all about manners and courtesy, made even more important when living in close proximity to one another.

    This disrespect, I fear is becoming more common than not.