Moving Day
How People Get Fucked By Corporate Landlords

Haverkamp Properties in Ames, IA, has to be one of those most money grubbing landlords I know of. I helped my girlfriend and her roommates move out of and clean their Haverkamp apartment. Of course, they couldn't move into their new apartment until 5pm, so it was about 10pm before we started cleaning for the check-out inspection the next day at 10am.

Now, this is the second Haverkamp apartment these girls have lived in. The last one they moved out of, they were assessed about $40 in fees (which came out of their deposit) for various things. Some were perfectly reasonable, like the marks on the wall where they had a dartboard. Others were for not quite meeting Haverkamp's cleaning standards, which an obsessive-compulsive clean freak like Danny Tanner from Full House couldn't even meet. They forgot to wash one of the many light fixtures, which I think is a $5 fine. Also, one of the bulbs apparently went out after the girls had checked for burned out bulbs. Another $5.

So we clean. All night. Until 5am. We vaccume the carpets and clean them with a rented Rug Doctor, scrub all the linolium floors, wash all the light fixtures, replace all burned out bulbs, dust off all the ceiling fans, dust all the woodwork (including around all the doors, inside and out). We run the self-cleaning oven though the cleaning cycle, which irritated my eyes like nothing else. We did everything on Haverkamp's 3 page checklist. Yea, there's a stain on my girlfriends floor and a gouge in the wall caused by her old bed, but we knew the deposit was going to get dinged for that.

So what do we get for all that trouble? When checkout comes, the lady assessed a deduction for the carpet stain and the wall gouge, which as I said, was expected. However, she then dings the girls another $10 because there was still a little bit of dust in one of that bathroom cabinets. This, of course, after she say how wonderfully clean the apartment is.

You're probably thiking to youself what all the fuss is about. Well, I know how clean that apartment was. You could have eaten off any surface in that place. Fuck, you could have performed surgery in that apartment! But the $10 fine wasn't what set me off on this tirade.

My girlfriend asked the woman how much, on average, each apartment tends to get fined. She replied with a figure of about $200. Two hundred fucking dollars is the average.

I figure since most of Haverkamp's renters are college students, the landlords are just milking them for all these renters are worth. It pisses me off. If the average apartment is getting $200 deducted from their deposit, something is seriously wrong. You can't win. I doubt anybody gets their full deposit back without some kind of deduction. Hell, a bit of dust in an under sink bathroom cabinet is a $10 deduction.

And my girlfriend wonders why I such a bent against [evil corporation|corporations.