a network of pure crystalline hatred

I’m putting together a cheat sheet for apartment hunting — a single page with our last few apartments’ addresses and phone numbers, as well as some employment history. It totally makes it easier than trying to remember everywhere we’ve lived on the fly.

Anyhoo, I was browsing around the internets, trying to find phone numbers for our last few apartment buildings, and I came across a page of reviews for the “management company” that owned our last apartment. For those who recall, it was the tiny craphole apartment on Queen Anne. It’s owned by a family, but they’re very weird about letting you know (the “handyman” was married to the “manager”, but neither would come out and call themselves an owner of the building).

Here are a few choice excerpts from the reviews:

“Basically, if you value your health, safety, privacy, and hard-earned money, you should stay FAR away from VIP. They are corrupt, abusive, and the worst property managers I have ever heard of or experienced directly.”

“The bottom line is the Varnes treat their tenants like the sharecroppers of the 1930s. They make it clear that you are, in their estimation, privileged to rent from them; and you should shut up and keep quiet.”

“They ended up keeping the whole deposit for a maintenance fee to clean the window blinds. They charge $25.00 an hour and it took 10 hours (so they say) to clean 4 window blinds! I left the place spotless, in fact, much cleaner than when I moved in. Never have I had a deposit kept from me by a landlord. Not only did I get charged for that, but I had bought some wall puddy to fill a couple of nail holes and they entered my apartment (when I was out and without notice), when I was still living there, filled the holes and charged me for that too! I was so happy to be out of there that I didn’t fight them for it. This is how they do business. I have never seen so many people move in and then move right back out, either from being evicted or sickened by VIP practices. These people are dishonest, opportunistic, money-grubbing slumlords who don’t care about their tenants or their rights. Do not rent from these awful people as they will take advantage of you…you have been warned.”

“All be it, the rates are below average and the site is good but, beware the witch woman SHE VARNES. This women is a devil from the deepest regions, she will present herself to you as a mere representative of the Varnes organization. But, in actuality this beast is THE VARNES itself. She herself is the driving action and force of the despicable Varnes network of employees, or web of deception. From Bjorne to their wethead attorney brother, the Varnes are a network of pure crystalline hatred. BEWARE”

One of the reviews mentioned that they “still use carbon paper when signing a lease”, which made me laugh — I found our file with our old lease, and indeed it’s generic documents that had been photocopied (hell, maybe even mimeographed) several times, and were filled out with carbon paper sheets. Shockingly high-tech! I’m glad to be rid of them, and I don’t know if I’d ever trust a small-family management company ever again.