I reside in an apartment building in Washington DC that is three-quarters of a century old. For the past ten years it was owned and managed by a "slumlord" company that let it go to $#*!!
Recently, the premises was assigned into Receivership by Court order to effect the necessary renovations and repairs that have to be done on it--- as cited by NUMEROUS DC housing agency and Consumer Regulatory Affairs Agency violations inspections reports. It has so far been THREE full months since it was given that responsibility and LITTLE if anything has been done, and what LITTLE that has been done in my apartment unit (which was one of those cited in the Court order as being the cause for the Receivership assignation!) has been done WRONG!!
Due to vandalism caused by the previous company compromising my residential security by either "losing" or GIVING OUT the duplicate set of keys to my unit that management is supposed to KEEP in its office, my apartment ended up being TRASHED through a SERIOUS plumbing clog problem. That was back in February.
Catalyst Property Solutions Management took over in June. The plumber had had to make a HUGE hole in the main room corner wall of my studio size apartment in order to remove pipe and find the cause of the clog. To get to the plumbing, he had to remove brick and cement masonry OVERLAYING the piping!! Therefore, he left a pile of bricks on my floor of those that could be salvaged.
The first month of Catalyst "management", the two-man "maintenance" team claimed they would contract out with a professional mason to rebrick the hole. They DIDN'T do it! The second month, I was told they were going to do it themselves. They DIDN'T do it!! The third month I started getting various excuses, such as "waiting on supplies" etc etc. Finally, in this past month they decided something would get done, since the property is being purchased by a developer company and Catalyst wants to remain as the management company AFTER the Receivership status ends!
Therefore, the "maintenance" team came up again and looked at the big hole in the wall, and decided it would be best NOT to brick it up again and cover the plumbing, IN CASE there was ever another problem and the wall had to be opened again. I acceded to this as sensible, and it was decided that the larger section of hole would be covered with sheetboard and replastered while the vertical gap extending across the corner to the ajoining wall--- the WEAKEST part of any wall---- would be remasonized with the remaining bricks. I was fine with that.
The next day, the one "maintenance" guy comes alone with a metal mesh screen and cutters. He starts covering OVER the vertical section with it! I yell at him to STOP and ask him what he's doing--- since it OBVIOUSLY WASN'T what we had just agreed on the previous day!! He goes into an "act" insisting that it was----- and calls his partner on the phone. The partner insists that it WAS the way we had agreed it would be done!! Now ANYBODY even without architectural-engineering knowledge can see that merely putting a metal screen over a hole in a wall is NOT going to give it sound structural integrity!! It can be EASILY kicked or bumped in.
I HAD TO POINT THIS OUT TO THE TWO "maintenance" men!!
So the one already in my apartment gets disgusted and claims he just want to get the job done. He had ADMITTED it COULD an SHOULD have been done TWO MONTHS AGO already!! BEFORE they called another guy who came to the apartment and shaved out the edges o the hole with an electronic grinder, NOT bothering to cover the workspace corner and thereby spewing dust debris ALL THROUGH my unit..... onto my bedding and other furniture!! BEFORE the one who got "disgusted" decided that SAME day the other guy cut out the edges of the hole, to vaccuum the dust up from the floor with a suction hose and bucket vaccuum and PRETENDED he didn't notice it had NO covering on the opposite hole from the hose end.... therefore spewing even MORE and FINER dust FURTHER through my apartment!! Meanwhile, all this ineptitude is holding up the rest of the repairs and renovation of my unit.... such as the MISSING flooring that needs to be replaced after FLOODING saturation from the clogged kitchen sink... the other gouges and holes in the walls.... the peeling and cracked plaster on the ceiling.....
Anyway, the one guy goes ahead with cementing the remaining bricks in the vertical gap of the wall at the corner..... first laying them horizontally up to the level of the plumbing so that ONLY TWO remain that need to be placed VERTICALLY at the top of the gap!! He agrees that to fill the space as much as possible between the rest of the wall.... which he ORIGINALLY mistook for solid stone and so didn't want to bother straightening the edges of THAT hole!..... he would insert them in with the wide side facing out. He states that he will FINISH the job, INCLUSIVE of REpainting the two walls, by the next day at the latest. I TRUST him, leaving him to his work and going out for the day. As it turned out, I didn't get to return until the following night and when I came back I not only found that the job was NOT finished, but that it WASN'T even done as WE AGREED!! HE had cemented the two bricks with the NARROW sides facing out.... thereby leaving an empty space at the CORNER next to the sheetboard. THAT was also the pace he was SUPPOSED to have placed the metal net next to the plumbing to cement the bricks against on the larger hole side!! Instead, he had placed it at the BACK of the hole BEHIND, NOT beside, the stack of bricks!! I got so mad I took a hammer and knocked the two top bricks out, busting one to pieces!! I then wrote a VERY extensive AND angry email message to the owner-president of the Company, Paula Forshee, detailing ALL that had been happening up to that point. On Monday night I return and find that WITHOUT authorization, HE had gotten IN to my unit and covered up the hole entirely (EXCEPT for paint) and in a VERY CRUDE, ROUGH manner----leaving wrinckles and depressions that will also show through the paint overlay!! In fact, it looked so SHODDY that I suspected he had NOT replaced he bricks!! Sure enough, to test my guess out, I bumped my foot against the wall in that section and it STOVE THROUGH COMPLETELY to roughly the size and shape of my shoe!!
THERE WAS NOTHING BACKING THE PLASTER JOB!! ALL HE HAD DONE was SOMEHOW dump CLUMPS OF THE CEMENT AND PLASTER into the edges of the HOLE!! The CLUMPS fell right out!! IF ANYBODY has a story of GREATER "maintenance" INEPTITUDE I would like to hear it, because HIS "performance" was NOT ONLY ABSURD but ASSININE!!
As for the rest of the place, he installed an air-conditioner unit that had NO drainhole for condensation leakage, therefore causing water buildup in the casing and causing a grating sound when turned on. He then drilled a hole in the bottom of the unit to let the water leak out, which THEN created a vibrating whining sound when turned on!!
He replaced my TWO former locks that matched the missing duplicate keys, with ONLY ONE and put on a LOCKLESS handle that does NOT push the bolt completely into the bolthole so that the door is LOOSE and shakes and vibrates whenever a nearby door is slammed closed!! ANY appropriate tool can be used by a lockpick to now access the gap created to push back the bolt and UNlock the door!!
He has installed NO locks on those MISSING from the front and rear entrances of the formerly security-coded access building, so bums and degenerates are wandering through ALL hours of the night to sleep in the halls or stairwells or laundry room and do drugs!! He himself has ADMITTED to finding them there and kicking them out and DESPITE the Company hiring a DAYTIME-ONLY ARMED security guard to patrol the premises, it STRANGELY DELAYS installing the ONLY effective means to keep the criminals out!!
Of the FOUR VACANT units in the building, he has only renovated TWO in THREE months.... and NO priority has been given to those of the OCCUPIED ones!! However, the little flower bed out in front of the building has been "improved" and the stairwell steps, laundry room floor, and rear entrance area have been repainted. But NOT the gang graffiti on the rear of the stairwell doors, to which he has removed the stoppers so they now SLAM shut throughout ALL hours!!
I think it's now time to take THIS Company to Court and let the Court know it's NOT doing its job fulfilling its obligations BOTH to the Court AND the TENANTS!! I don't know what the rest of the Catalyst company properties throughout the country are "maintained" like but it is DEFINITELY NOT the management "solution" to THIS "property"!!
Catalyst Property Solutions