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I am a freelance writer for newspapers,magazines as well as a journalist for TV.
I am from Tokyo, Japan and have been living in Los Angeles since 1990.
[日本語のブログFromLAby藤本庸子] fromla.cocolog-nifty.com/blog
[日本語のツイッター] https://twitter.com/YOKOfromLA

#264- Market Price at eaves Los Feliz???


Mr. Donald Trump said, “Location, Location and Location”, I agree with him.

 

But eaves Los Feliz apartment (I just left this apartment after I lived in this apartment for 10 years) said, “Market, Market and Market”, I don’t agree with them.

 

And I said in my negotiation time, "Condition, Condition and Condition" ; )

 

I had lived at eaves Los Feliz by AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (Former Archstone Los Feliz) for 10 years, and I had negotiated my rent with an apartment manager or a higher position person at eaves Los Feliz or Archstone Los Feliz each year, because I had so many condition problems (sewage leaking from the ceiling in the kitchen and living room, water leaking from the bathroom ceiling and wall, rain leaking in the bedroom, ants problem, car break-in etc.).

 

So my rent price was ok (I still think that they charge us more than the value of the apartment) until this year (new lease) negotiation.

 

Anyway they raised my rent $226 (15.5%) per month in my new lease (expire date was on February 23, 2016), and I failed negotiation with an apartment manager and an apartment manager’s boss (the Portfolio Operations Director) at this time.

 

If you want to know about how I was upset with this situation, please read my last email to the Portfolio Operations Director (apartment manager’s boss) at AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (Headquarter of Eaves Los Feliz) on January 19, 2016.

 

By the way, I gave my 30 day notice to this apartment and I moved out this apartment on February 20, 2016.

 

*** Here is my email to the Portfolio Operations Director Michelle. ***

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: YOKO FUJIMOTO

To: "Michelle***@avalonbay.com"

Cc: AvalonBay Ms. Mollee *** ; S*** <***@gmail.com>; "kelly***@avalonbay.com"
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 4:13 PM
Subject: To Ms. Michelle *** / From Yoko Fujimoto, #2** at eaves Los Feliz
 
 
Hello Michelle,
 
Thank you very much for your email.
 
Regarding the monthly maintenance of my sinks (in the kitchen & bathroom), I have never asked for it.
 
Your company needed to do it, because your company wants me to shut my mouth off.
 
This situation & condition is not normal!!
 
This monthly maintenance (started last May) was very uncomfortable.
 
It took all day and wasted of my time (needed to move my stuff under the kitchen & bathroom sinks and clean and put them back after the maintenance).
 
***
 
I had many sewage leaking problems from upstairs.
 
Even I reported to Alan about something wrong (noise) after your company fixed sink/pipe problem of #3**, your company (Alan) didn't do anything (he told me "no worries"), and then next day the nasty swage of #3** leaked from my kitchen ceiling and living room ceiling on April 13th.
 
And on May 8th, after fixed kitchen sink of #4**, the nasty sewage came up to my kitchen sink from upstairs again.
 
This sewage leaking problem is causing by two things, #1 -old building issue and #2 -human errors / bad customer service.
 
Rain is also leaking in my bedroom right now!!
 
***
1: Many times sewage leaked in the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink from upstairs.
 
 
2: A couple of times sewage leaked from the bathroom ceiling/wall, kitchen ceiling/wall and living room ceiling.
 (Twice I had big constrictions on the bathroom ceiling and wall)
 
3: Many times mailbox thefts (still going on!)
 
7/17/15, 7/29/15, 9/10/15, 9/15/15, 10/?/15, 1/6/2016 many more!
 
Even I reported about "there are many strangers/guests at the swimming pool party (some tenants bring around 10-20 people at once), Alan and Frankie ignored my report, that's why this apartment has many thefts problems (we are easy target from them!).
 
When I reported about many strangers/guests at the swimming pool at once, Alan treated me as a bad complainer, and then Alan treated the bad tenants (who brought many guests at the swimming pool at once) nice (because tenants brought some BBQ food to Alan and Frankie).
 
I called LAPD and Post office to claim about these incidents (mailbox thefts) in September.
 
4: Many times package thefts (I lost five packages in two years!)
 
As I said above, I reported about many strangers/guests at the swimming pool to your company, this brings thefts to our building.
 
And Alan and Frankie used to go to lunch together, so many packages were sitting in the lobby without security care (I reported about this to Mollee on May 6th, 2015).
 
5: Many times car break-ins (I lost money because of car break-in in 2014)
 
As I said above, I reported about many strangers/guests at the swimming pool to your company, this brings thefts to our building.
 
 
6: Two months, I couldn't open my bedroom window! (Big construction / replace the window), because #3** keeps his window open, so rain leaks to my bedroom window frame and ceiling.
 
January 5th, 2016, my bedroom window frame leaked rain again!
 
7: Many car scratches from the power wash in the parking lot in 2014.
 
8: Some strange scratches on my car in the parking lot, so I asked Mollee to put some more security cameras in the parking lot.
 
9: Bedroom window and closet doesn't shut complete, because this building is not straight enough (This building is sinking toward to the street side).
 
Even Alvaro tried to fix them, it doesn't work, because of this old building and bad condition building issue.
 
10: Thin wall and floor bring a lot of noise from upstairs and next door.
 
 
11: #3** wakes me up midnight and early in the morning a lot.
 
1/1, 1/3, 2/1, 2/3, 3/28, 3/29, 3/31, 4/1, 4/11, 4/22, 5/2, 5/3, 7/4, 7/5, 7/18, 7/25, 7/26, 8/1, 8/2, 8/8, 8/21, 8/23, 8/31, 9/5, 9/6, 9/7, 9/14, 10/3, 10/4, 10/10, 10/11, 10/24, 10/25, 11/5, 11/6, 11/7, 11/8, 11/12, 11/20, 11/27, 11/28, 11/29, 12/6, 12/11, 12/12, 12/30, 12/31, 1/2/2016 were really noisy, and he woke me up many times with his noise on those days.
 
And #3** is constantly making noise (especially footsteps) on purpose.
 
12: Living room window has a problem (installed wrong), so there are gap between window and screen, and many insects (twice lizards) came into my room from this gap.
 
13: Dogs are so noisy.
 
14: I am afraid of dogs and cats. When I moved in this apartment, it was a "no pet apartment", so I have been having a hard time with bad manner tenants (no leashes, pee and poops on the pavement etc.).
 
Smells bad and dirty animal hairs everywhere (especially in my balcony and in the washer/dryer).
 
15: Smoking smells everywhere.
 
Some tenants smoke inside of the staircase, it's very dangerous to catch the fire!
 
Even I reported about this to Ruth (at that time, she was the manager), she didn’t appreciate it, it seems like she didn’t care about it.
 
16: A lot of noisy party people at the swimming pool /BBQ area
 
As I said above, some tenants bring many guests (more than 10-20 people) at once, and they play music like a bar or club.
 
If there are just our tenants and some their friends (even total of people are more than 20 people), the noise is not that bad compare to one big group of 20 people.
 
And many strangers in our building, which means we have many thefts, right?
 
Especially August 22nd, Alan handled badly with my report of the noisy party people at the swimming pool/BBQ area.
 
3/28, 3/29, 4/4, 8/15, 9/7, 9/8 were very noisy, they had big parties at the swimming pool/BBQ area.
 
17: Many late nights (midnights), I also called the security company because of the party noise at the swimming pool/BBQ area, I felt like I was working as a security staff for your company (wasted of my time).
 
18: Many ants problem
 
Even I am a clean freak and I don't have any food on the kitchen counter or smell in my place, there are many ants in the kitchen and bathroom.
 
19: Your company staff is off on Sundays
 
We used to have staff in the office on Sundays, so less business = rent should be reduced instead of increased.
 
20: When your company painted our building, I asked about the date of the painting for our parking lot, but your company didn't tell me, and then one of the painters put the paint on my car!!! (January, 2015)
 
I reported to Ruth (at that time, she was the manager) about this, she didn't do anything or say sorry.
 
I asked her that "if you guys paint in the parking lot, please tell me, I would like to move my car", but Ruth didn't tell me about it, and then my car got some paint!
 
 
21: The paint project made us inconvenient, I couldn't open my living room window for three days during the New Year holidays (2015), and our living room and bedroom windows got dirty.
 
Your company didn't clean anything after paint project, instead of that, your company charged the paint fees to us (increase our rent more than 15%!!!).
 
 
22: Bedroom window never clean for 10 years!!!
 
I had a chance to clean the window once when my window needed to replace it.
 
And I cleaned my living room window by myself after we got dirty after painting project. (Bedroom window is impossible to clean by myself)
 
23: What is the point we have a survey?
 
When I answered to the survey honestly, Ruth (former manager) got mad at me and she took personally.  She ignored me after that.
 
But Mollee is nice, she has never changed her attitude after I wrote some comments on the survey.
 
The survey shouldn't send to the manger direct, because some tenants can't be honest with it.
 
I guess Yelp is the only good report for consumer that we can trust and rely on it to have useful information about business.
 
24: Most of the apartment company pays water/trash/government fees, but your company doesn't...
 
I understand about the market price, but your company should consider the building/room condition and customer service error/situation for the fair price.
 
 
25: If your company is doing this kind of business (your company doesn't care about loyalty tenants and just care about the profit), your company will be like K***.
 
I wrote many articles  about K*** business in Japanese newspaper (they charged 10 times more than regular boutique, and they treated badly to their fashion designers, and they didn't pay full rent for realtors), I knew it they will close their business, and then they did.
 
***
 
I have been living here for 10 years and I respected my place and building (I kept clean and made them look so new for carpet & wall etc.), please understand that I feel sad to say good-bye to this apartment.
 
But 15.2% per month increase ($226 per month increase) at once is impossible to pay, and I think the condition of the building/customer service doesn't make sense of this big increase!
 
Who gets $226 per month increase salaries at your office?
 
Business is about win-win situation, if your company takes a lot of profit from the customer without customer satisfaction, it really doesn't call "good business".
 
Anyway I am going to move out to let your company makes more profit from my room.
 
Thank you so much for reading my email.
 
***
By the way, I still would like to talk with your boss (VP), so please provide his full name and his contact info (email address and phone number).
 
Thank you.
 
Have a good one.
 
Best,
Yoko
 
********
 
I haven’t received any response from the Portfolio Operations Director Michelle.
 
If people don’t business with good heart, I don’t think the business will grow.
 
I hope this info is useful for someone who is trying to find the nice apartment or find the good tenants.
 
Honesty is the key to everything. If you are an honest person, you will get what you want and get good luck.
 
***
 
One month later, I moved in a lovely apartment in Montrose in L.A. County (It’s a hidden peaceful area in Glendale. Just 15-20 minutes away from downtown L.A.).
 
In January I have met wonderful apartment owner Bob and his wife Jan, and I still believe in that “Honesty is the key to everything”.
 
When I signed the lease of this wonderful apartment in Montrose on February 17th, Bob and Jan didn’t charge me from the 17th. Even I told them, “Please charge me from the 17th”, and they charged me from the 20th.
 
I believe in miracle… I met wonderful apartment owner and got a wonderful apartment with a fair price rent.
 
Since then…
 
I met a wonderful moving company guy (Harven at MOVE IT WITH MUSCLE!   http://moveitwithmuscle.com/) [he understood about my clean/neat freak thing, and he took off his shoes for me].
 
And…I met a wonderful AT&T internet installation guy (Francisco) [he also understood about my clean/neat freak thing, wore shoes covers and he installed my home phone as well which I had an appointment next day, I felt relief that I didn’t need to worry about the shoes covers thing next day].
 
And more…I met two wonderful & fun Charter cable TV guys (Tom and Harrison) [they were super nice!  they also understood about my clean/neat freak thing etc.].
 
More over… my new mailman David, I met him on the 25th in the morning and he came back to my place on his lunch break and brought a flower gift (moving gift) on the same day.
 
Thank god… Since I left the corporate apartment (eaves Los Feliz), I have been meeting these wonderful & warm hearted people.
 
Again I believe in miracle, and life is in miracle.
 
I appreciate everything what I have, especially I have a wonderful place to live in the wonderful owner's building.
 
Yes, Life is Beautiful.
Have a beautiful day to you : )
 
By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
March 3, 2016
Copyright © 2016 Yoko Fujimoto 


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#144- To my people, Japanese people 米国より東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)被災者および日本の皆様へメッセージ / 海外セレブからのお見舞い&応援メッセージ -Pray for Japan(日本に祈りを捧げます)-

Sorry folks, Today, I am going to write a message in Japanese, in my native language to Japanese people. If you read Japanese, please do.

I am going to write my thoughts for Japan &Japanese people and sending prayers to Japan & people in Japan.

Love,
Yoko

P.S. I am going to write in English next time. xoxo Y

******** My Japanese blog :

From LA by 藤本庸子      
(http://fromla.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2011/03/pray-for-japan-.html)


東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)被災者および日本の皆様へ

このたびの東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)により被災されたすべての方々に心からお見舞い申し上げます。そして、犠牲になられた方々とご遺族の皆様に、深くお悔やみを申し上げます。

日本にいらっしゃる皆様、どうかご無事で、早く、安心出来る暮らし、笑顔が戻ってきますように、心からお祈り申し上げます。


*** 米国でも多くの人が心を痛めており、皆様のご無事を願っています

東北・関東地方で起った大震災に心を痛めながら、私は、「米国在住のライターの私に、日本の皆様のために出来ることをしたい」と、こちらで流れるテレビニュースの画面を見つめながら、ずっと考えていました。

そうしていましたら、本日(ロサンゼルス:3月18日/日本:3月19日)、仕事でお付き合いのある茨城県在住の女性(実際にお会いしたことはありません)から、「テレビでも、世界各国からの応援メッセージをもっと放送して欲しい」とメールをいただきました。

早速、私が報道の仕事で関わっている日本のテレビ局、ラジオ局の幹部、報道記者の方々へ、この女性のメッセージを届け、放送に関してのお願いメールを送信致しました。


*** 米国在住の私に出来ることを考えてみました

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