The landlord of this property is an apathetic, lazy woman with multiple lawsuits against her, who has been charged for defaulting on multiple properties and not paying utilities, has verbally assaulted one of the current tenants with myself and refused to make repairs on her properties. You can look up her docket numbers in the Court of Common Pleas based on this address and find all of the charges brought against her that we had no idea existed until this summer.
All of that aside, she deserves to be charged for all of her negligent practices, code violations and abusive behavior towards her tenants.
I will start with the first and only positive things about this unit. One, it is a spacious, one bedroom apartment with many windows that let in lots of natural light and hardwood floors. Second, it is in a rapidly improving Powelton Village which has many small restaurants, bars and shops within walking or biking distance which makes it a nice location for a student. Third, it is close to the trolley and subway lines which are right across the street or three blocks away respectively. This does increase the noise level due to the bustling trolley schedule and the crowds moving to different nightlife destinations but that's to be expected. These are the only things that make the unit worth even looking at and none can be attributed to the landlord or her work on the property.
First thing that I can say is she verbally assaulted the other tenant there. He called because she left the building unsecured, as she has done and has let maintenance people do before meaning all front doors to the building open and unlocked in West Philadelphia, and refused to go back and lock it. She tried to lie to cover up her error as we were out of town, and when we asked again after she contradicted herself, she called and screamed obscenities into the phone for thirty seconds straight not letting the tenant speak, hung up, and when we returned she had left the doors unlocked the entire time as retaliation.
The unit itself is falling apart. The floors are cracked, have wood and splinters and loose screws coming out that have cut or stabbed us multiple times. She had said she was going to sand and refinish them, but only did a small area in the kitchen while we were at work and didn't ask permission, putting us out until the stain had settled.
The windows are all but unsealed, the locks malfunction, some don't close at all, and one in the bedroom doesn't even stay in the frame and has blown out several times during storms. The blinds, which she and I quote "does not provide" are almost all broken and tenants must assume responsibility even for the destroyed one in the bathroom which allows the street to see everything. According to her someone bought 14 sets of blinds and refuses to even use the security deposit to replace them. Many windows are missing screens or outer windows and are poorly sealed so winters are cold and summers are almost unbearable. An additional note, during the winter it seemed freezing, more than usual, and we inquired and were told two days after it became freezing that a part of the heating unit broke and she never told us. We had to leave due to the temperature and were only compensated because we found out that she was hiding it was broken.
The bathroom has no ventilation and you are expected to open the window for every shower or you will increase the mold that is growing on the tile, the tub and the ceiling. The paint is peeling on the walls down to the very plaster which you can see the plastic and inner parts of the wall from the decay. The paint peels off in large chunks or small chips that have clogged the shower repeatedly. It needs a dehumidifier to keep it from being suffocatingly humid and from creating a constant mildew smell. The radiator was only just added, the toilet runs constantly changing the shower temperature randomly and wasting water all day, and the holes for pipes are so large they allow rodents and insects to crawl through, but that's my next point.
The place is infested with mice. No matter how high we stack food, throw trash away or clean we have killed over a dozen mice. Sure, in the city you expect to see a few bugs or so, but dozens of mice using what we found to be over 10 different holes made from neglect or poor construction in the wall to breed and move about the apartment is disgusting. We had to nail boards over holes that were meant for pipes and glue up seams in the wall that could fit mice through them. They were everywhere and it was so unsanitary. We only after a year of searching have finally found a way to keep them out. When we leave, I have no way of knowing if she will undo the work we did to shut the infestation out.
There are cracks in all of the walls in every room, large structural cracks that have pieces of plaster and stone coming down every now and again. She had a refi group come into our unit because the unit above has been uninhabited, abandoned and stripped for almost two years (she lies to potential tenants about this fact to make the building look as though it has had more occupants, but we ignored the warning signs that the last tenants left in such a hurry that they left half of their furniture and cooking supplies behind just to get out).
The refi agents APOLOGIZED TO US for the conditions we were living in and told her it wouldn't happen. They walked in to see the car tires, trash, mattresses and non functioning air conditioning units she leaves in the hallway that only now after a year she has begun to clear out. We took photos of it all. The hallway is now cluttered with trash from the unit above and she took the working units to put up there for herself instead of leaving for the tenant to use. The stairs have broken parts of the railing that make the climb precarious and no matter how many times we clean the hall it is always grimy.
She removed all of the smoke detectors in the kitchen, living room and hallway prior to us moving in because in her words "they went off too much for her liking." She left us a fire extinguisher just in case, which we soon discovered was empty.
The breakers are inaccessible from the apartment. We have had the shoddy circuitry almost burn one of us and have had to wait hours for her to come flip the breakers because she didn't have the time, leaving us with no lights, AC or fans in the middle of July. We have no access to do it ourselves so when an electrical problem occurs you are on your own until she decides she wants to fix it.
She has made several documented unlawful entries and has brought workers in, no exaggeration, with no warning or less than 24 hours warning every single time she decided to schedule work. She used the excuse that our "doorknob looked different" to enter our apartment at one point, and does not acknowledge this is against standard landlord tenant procedure. She removed the deadbolt on one of the outer doors as well after forbidding us to use it when we felt unsafe from her leaving the door constantly unlocked. She will illegally enter, leave doors unlocked, and then take away the option for you to secure the property.
You will also live above a bike shop that is constantly blasting loud music, floor shaking loud music, from about 3-7 most weeknights. We have had to stomp or shout and beg for the music to be turned down because it was reverberating through our entire kitchen. He called her to complain we had "smoke coming out of our window" after we asked him to stop playing the music and she contacted us both to ask if we were smoking in the unit as a form of retaliation. We made dinner and had the window open because of the smoke detector we had to buy. We have regularly smelled marijuana in the hallway as well. We don't care what people do in the privacy of their home or businesses but just prefer our property not to smell like other people's choices.
She is also "improving" the unit above using random people and kids she can find, bringing non licensed workers to come in and out and leave the building unsecured.
I'm sure I'm missing many more things about this unit... but these are the big ones and the ones that have driven us to the brink. We have been verbally assaulted, threatened, had our building left unsecured, been infested with rodents, had to clean a filthy unit left to us with leftover furniture and dirty dishes, had our move in pushed back 3 times before we could come in, had her try to renew the lease 5 months in advance to secure that she would have money in the coming months and lock us into another contract with her. Overall, this woman is a horrible person in my experience and is content to default on her properties, treat her tenants like garbage and run what most would call a slum that we made as livable as we could. She has put us and our possessions in danger, asked for rent twice in one month multiple times and has treated us like trash, nuisances or just plain ignored us when it is convenient to her. Please do not take this apartment, please do not be fooled by her initial bumbling seemingly lovable but dim type of appearance. This woman is running slums and has been sued many times, this is not hearsay but facts on the Philadelphia dockets that anyone can find. If I can save one person from having the most horrible living experience I can, I will. Please do not take this property until it is under new management or is fully remodeled.
Take care, and be wary if looking at the property. We wish we had done more research. We wish we could provide photos to prove exactly the condition of the property. Good luck in your search, but please don't search here.