RMD Management Group a/k/a Cottonwood Creek Apartments
PO Box 389
Menasha, WI 54952
August 31, 2012
After reviewing all of the correspondence you sent to me and my husband, I contacted my attorney and he stated we had every legal right to break our lease. It appears that you have more violations of the City of Menasha ordinances and the State of Wisconsin laws than one could ever imagine. I've done my homework, now it's time to do yours.
First, you as the owner must provide an initial walk through inventory. You claim you never received this from us which is an outright lie. I turned the initial walk through inspection to the office along with the Vacancy Fee Charges on October 30, 2011. I find it rather curious that you do have the Vacancy Fee Charges on file and not the Initial Walk Through. If you didn't receive the Initial Walk Through from the first rental date of 11/01/2011 as you claim, then after the first seven days and you still hadn't received it as you claim, it is your responsibility, not ours, to follow up with your residents.
Additionally, a copy of that form is to be attached to the legal binding lease. So you are at fault for not following up after the seven initial days of rental to obtain this information.
Fortunate for me, my mother was a property manager for many years and warned me of these types of issues that landlords/owners try to get around. She told me not to rely on a piece of paper and that pictures were worth a thousand words. So I took her advice and took photos of everything I had listed on the Initial Walk Through form. And I took photos of the same items when we moved out, proving that you are in breach of the lease for not providing me with any
maintenance. I would be more than happy to provide these before and after photos to a judge.
Speaking of my mother, when she came to visit, she was absolutely horrified at the condition of the grounds, the filth and mold in the hallways, not to mention no lighting at either exit. Not only did we not have lighting in the hallway, but we didn't have lighting at our other exit via the patio door. None of the light bulbs or globes had been replaced the entire time we were there even though we had requested these items to be repaired over and over again without response. Also, there was no lighting in the garage, nor did the garage door lock work. According to WI Law, Sec. 704.07 #114 Maintenance states that the landlord shall keep the structure of the building in which the premises are located and those buildings and equipment under the landlord's control in "reasonable state of repair." Do you think asking for light bulbs is
"reasonable?" Do you think the health, safety and welfare of my family was at risk coming home in the pitch dark garage, a pitch dark hallway, and a pitch dark patio entrance? Anyone could have been lurking around in the dark and attacked my family all because you refused to replace light bulbs.
RMD Management 2 August 31, 2012
As required by the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, we were to be provided a written notice regarding the maintenance of the smoke alarm in our apartment. Not only did we not receive this notice, we did not receive a notice that the battery had been change prior to our move-in. I am at this time requesting, in writing a copy of the maintenance and battery changes made to the smoke alarm in apartment #33.
PET AGREEMENT #6 and #11 you have failed to enforce and another reason you have breached our contract: Another health and safety issue we had is the dog feces throughout the grounds. We have two dogs and faithfully took them to the woods, leashed, three times a day for them to do their business. However, our neighbors let their dogs out, no leashes and no pooper scoopers in hand. One in particular has a dog as large as a horse and excretes the same. Each and every day she would let her dog out without a lease and needless to say would excrete his feces in our yard. Not once did she ever clean up after that dog. When my mother was visiting, she was the one who cleaned up and even scrubbed down the patio because my husband, coming home in the dark with no lighting, walked through it and onto our patio and into the apartment. Again, we called to complain about this and nothing was ever done. Typical. Are you aware of the diseases one could get from all the dog feces laying around? We have a 14-year old son with cystic fibrosis, and we weren't taking any chances.
"Dog waste is an environmental pollutant. In 1991, it was labeled a non-point source pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), placing it in the same category as herbicides and insecticides; oil, grease and toxic chemicals; and acid drainage from abandoned mines."
"Dog feces are one of the most common carriers of the following diseases:
Not only are you in violation of the City of Menasha Building Codes and the City of Menasha Health and Safety Codes
and the State of Wisconsin Codes, but you are in violation of your own rules and regulations:
RMD Management 3 August 31, 2012
17. Do not attempt repairs or major maintenance. Contact Kelly McUseless on his cell phone. Is this another attempt at saying "you never called."Well guess what Wisconsin codes states that all requests for maintenance must be put in writing and the owner/landlord has 48 hours to respond in writing as to the day and time the repairs will be made. Another violation? I have also kept my phone records proving that I called more than 30 times for maintenance which all went unanswered.
18. Landlord shall be liable for all maintenance and repairs...
20. Management will provide snow removal and yard maintenance. Really? Thegrounds are in horrendous condition, a multitude of weeds some of which look like trees they are so over-grown. Perhaps you'd better investigate the City of
Menasha's Noxious Weed Ordinance. But don't worry, I have pictures of the grounds also.
And my favorite is #24. Renters cannot move out between November 1 and February 28 due to inclement weather. This is Wisconsin, people move in the winter all the time. Furthermore, do you allow people to move in between November 1 and February 28? If so, why? It's inclement weather. I am investigating the legality of this issue too.
I am at this time requesting copies of Internet ads, newspaper ads, radio copy, etc. proving that you have made every effort to lease apartment #33 as required by law.
I also want written proof that the fire extinguisher in apartment #33 has been maintained on an annual basis as required by law, even though we never found a fire extinguisher in the apartment.
As far as your vacancy fees are concerned, this is what I had on my Walk Through Inventory list and which I have before and after photos that was never taken care of and I am charging you for:
Replace drip bowls $28
Clean Greasy Parking Space $25
Clean Fireplace $35
Sweep Garage Floor and remove garbage $10 (Floor not swept or garbage removed from former tenants)
No cutting board in kitchen $40
No fire extinguisher $35
Replace Garage Door Lock $50
Fix Garage Electricity $50
Repair Carpet $150 (edging fringed)
Replace Bathroom Linoleum $385 (cracked)
Replace Kitchen Linoleum $385 (cracked)
RMD Management 4 August 31, 2012
Fireplace Ceramic Tile $150 (broken and cracked)
Remove Mildew and Treat $25 (all walls)
Replace Hallway Door $285 (didn't shut let alone lock)
Replace Sliding Door Screen $55 (torn at botton)
Replace Kitchen Faucet $95 (cracked, molded)
Replace Toilet Seat $25 (broken, we replaced it ourselves)
Replace Kitchen Light Fixture $55 (two of the four light bulb holders worked)
Replace Electric Cover Plate $1.50 (cracked)
Major Yard Cleanup $425 (Dog feces)
Minor Yard Cleanup $225 (Remove weeds and mow lawn)
Exterminate for Mice $200 (Mice came in through hole in outside wall)
TOTAL REPAIRS NEVER DONE $2,734.50
Non-fundable pet deposit less $100 which covers the cost of carpet cleaning.
$2,735.50 less $625 deposit
Balance due us $2,109.50
So when all is said and done, you have breached the contract in so many substantial ways, and have not abided by the City of Menasha ordinances nor the State of Wisconsin law, if you continue to pursue additional monies for September and October rent, or any damages you claim to the apartment, I will be more than happy to meet you in court. In addition we will have no alternative than to file a counter suit against you for your breach of contract in the amount of
$2,735.50 which includes reimbursement of our security deposit.
We signed a contract with you in good faith believing that you would abide not only by the lease agreement but the pet agreement also. You have failed in every way. We had no alternative than to find a clean, decent place to live to
protect our family from the health, safety and welfare issues you do not provide.
As a final note, today is August 31, 2012 and I tried calling Kelly for him to be available when I return the apartment and garage keys. As usual, I get his answering service for his cell phone. Therefore, I will be taping the keys to the office door and bringing not one but two witnesses with me.
RMD Management 5 August 31, 2012
In reality, I don't understand how RMD Management Group expects one person to do the leasing, maintenance, repairs, yard care, snow removal. It is certainly less than realistic. Perhaps it is time for you to hire the appropriate number
of personnel to complete all the tasks involved with keeping a property such as Cottonwood Creek maintained in a healthy and safe environment while fulfilling the terms of your part of the contract. You should be ashamed, very ashamed at the condition of this property.
Erin & Dennis G
cc: City of Menasha Building Inspector
City of Menasha Housing Inspector
City of Menasha Department of Health, Safety and Welfare
City of Menasha Weed Commissioner
State of Wisconsin Department of Labor, Industry and Human Relations