I am living in Bryan, TX. As a matter of fact I have lived here for a little over a day. While I really like Texas so far, it has been a bit of a ride. Read on.
After a reasonably pleasant 20-or-so-hour drive across the country we arrived at our apartment complex office. Eager to see our apartment in person for the first time, we naively filled out our leasing agreement and paid our first and last month's rent. The thought never occurred to us to scope out our new home before signing... can you see where this is going? Despite decent reviews, we were not prepared for what was yet to come:
After pulling up the moving van to the curb in what actually turned out to be a flash flood, I had a feeling to lower my expectations spectacularly. We swung the door open to meet a ceiling fan swinging threateningly off it's axil, a pungent wall of cigarette fumes, and a floor plan--to our great surprise--we had never even seen before. That's right, a different apartment, free of the granite countertops, black cabinets, spacious bedroom, and walk in closets that lured us away from other reasonable apartments.
This is all sort of embarrassing to admit, really. We just had no idea.
I actually said, "Well, this is kind of a let-down." Never had it crossed my mind that the apartment might have allowed smoking. Neither had it occurred to me that we could be mislead by pictures and reviews (I can tell if someone used a wide-angle lens in their pictures so I thought we were good). I was just totally naive. We stuck it out for a while, but eventually cracked, "Jeff, someone pooped in our toilet; I know because there are skid marks (haha)," "Claire, this is a totally different apartment than they told us we were getting," etc. Panic mildly washed over us, but not completely because we figured, hey, we have lived here for, what, three hours? Of course the management will rectify these issues and we'll be out before we know it.
We headed over to the office and mustered up the courage to mention the stinky smoke, which had made me totally sick. They were kind enough to send a guy over to take care of it... Except that he just told us, "This stuff makes it smell good." and sprayed what seemed like super Febreeze into our air conditioning unit. Three hours later, the apartment smelled exactly the same. This time I got massive headache and a sick-y stomach. Cool.
Amidst this, Jeff and I decided firmly that this place didn't meet our needs at all and that we really couldn't live in the odor (which really is pretty intense; our clothing totally smells like it. In fact, it simply seems as though someone is smoking right in our living room relentlessly. We took our concerns and four reasons for wanting to leave to the management. They were:
1. Cigarette smoke
2. We felt mislead
3. The apartment needed repairs
4. the overarching fact that we didn't get the apartment we planned on and didn't want to live there
While the management was very kind in handling the issues, they didn't have anything to offer on ending our contract and said we could sublease or relet the apartment (and be held responsible for any damage or fees on the subleaser's part).
Taking advice from parents and friends, we then contacted the regional manager and Texas Apartment Association. Both suggested subleasing or reletting. Still there was not even a hope for ending the year-long contract.
The accompanying trouble is that some apartments won't let us a sign a contract with them until we have written proof that our current contract has ended (understandably, of course). We just feel stuck...
We also learned that many universities have attorneys at no cost for students. We called at set up an appointment. So here we are, staying at a hotel while we pray for a miracle (because the conditions totally stink. Double. Meaning). So my serious question, has anyone been in a situation like this and made it out okay? I'm sure we sound high maintenance, but I ugly cried at the prospect of a year's worth of secondhand smoke piping right into our home we didn't even want. See ya; I've got some Blue Bell consolation ice cream calling my name...
(Okay, first timer here. THIS STUFF IS SO GREAT!!!!! I love the South already.)