Apartment Annoyance

The management company in our apartment decided to install gates over our front door and driveway. We've had 1 or 2 people rummaging through the trash before, so I think it's an okay idea (though not necessary). But the BAD idea is that the gate intercom has to be tied to a landline.

Everyone in the building received a letter a few days after they began work on the gates. The letter stated that "for security reasons" cell phones would not be tied to the intercom system. M and I, like most people, use cell phones only. I complained to our building manager and she said that she and her husband had to get a landline too. I pushed some more and she said she would talk to our property manager and assess the "consensus in the building." We have some older people here, but there's no way that the majority of people have a landline. But the building manager sent me a follow-up email and flatly stated that landlines were required if we wanted to use the gate intercom. My feeling is that lack of landlines in the building was ignored at the property manager's say-so.

M and I researched landline options. The company through which we have internet offers digital home phone only for almost $45 a month! The cheapest I could find was $21, and that's not counting any add-ons (like the virtually mandatory unlisted fee).

M thinks we should ask them to lower our rent to take into account the landline cost. I am really pissed off at this whole situation, but I don't know how hard I want to fight this.

What would you do?


krystalatwork said...

That is so frustrating!!! I would definitely ask for a decrease in rent to make up for the cost of the landline. Are you in a rental agreement? It feels like they would be breaking their agreement by all of a sudden making a landline mandatory in order to access something that is a necessary feature of your apartment building.

Sunflowers said...

Yeah, we're in a rental agreement... until next June. It's too bad this didn't happen before our last lease expired, we would have had leverage!

I sent them an email and asked that either they make an exception and allow us to use our cells, or that they decrease our rent... and gave examples about why we feel we're basically being forced into getting a landline.

What I don't get is why everyone else isn't up in arms about this! Or maybe they are, but just very quietly.

Anonymous said...

I hope they reduce you rent. how unfair!

If it were me (and the apartment wouldn't give in), I'd just suck it up and let people in every time they came over. None of my friends have land lines, and several of them have to do this.

Also... security reasons? They probably just know that cell phones are often non-local numbers and they don't want to pay long distance! I don't see how it could really make a difference.

Little Miss Moneybags said...

Could you get a local Google Voice or Skype number and give them that?Those are free options, and you could argue that it's basically a landline since the call comes in over your internet line and not through a wireless signal.

I think you need to push them to explain their "security reasons". Wireless landline phones are much less secure than cell phones...are they concerned that your cell would be out of range and you wouldn't be able to answer the gate? Or that you'd be getting calls from the gate when you are not at home? I can't come up with a good security reason.

Kingsmomma said...

my complex did something similar. They installed the intercom system but if you used VOIP, the call would never come through. I spoke with the manager on site who relayed that I should just buy a phone to plug into the wall for this specific purpose. I wasn't going to do that, I spoke with her manager, called the police a few times (the security guards no longer allowed people in without calling upstairs) and the mangament compnay is now either installing free phones for those of us who have VOIP or will be figuring out a new system.

MsCFaith said...

I dunno if by chance they'll decide to lower or cut down the electricity cost but hopefully, everything will go well later on.

Loan options

Sunflowers said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. I'm still waiting to hear back from the building managers. The gates have remained open in the meantime. Hopefully we'll hear positive news by the end of the week!

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