< Back to List

Peter Chuknyisky

Bethesda, MD

  • 3.9
    Avg Score

  • Years Avg Stay
  • 1,439
    Avg Rent

  • Recommended
  • 5.0

    Responsiveness

  • 4.0

    Respect

  • 2.0

    Information

  • 5.0

    Condition

  • 5.0

    Pests

  • 3.0

    Safety

  • 3.0

    Social

3.9

Great location, HORRIBLE landlords (moved out in 2 months)

Posted 3 years ago

The unit itself, a full basement apartment with a private entrance, is generally really nice. High ceilings create a feeling of spaciousness, the appliances (although several were in disrepair when I first moved in and required maintenance) are all new and high quality. I can walk to Balducci's and Giant, though it's across Old Georgetown Rd, so I think most people prefer to drive. The neighborhood is quiet and safe, close to the mall and the highway. Seemed like a dream come true... The floor plan is one of the first odd things you'll notice, as 60% of the space is given to the bedroom, with much less space for the living room and dining room. I had to get rid of my dining room table if I wanted to keep a couch, or get rid of the couch if I wanted to keep the dining room table. Sadly, I sold the table before realizing, I couldn't live here after about a month and a half. There were also lines and stains on the walls from previous tenants, so they do not give a fresh coat of paint or anything, you'll need to wipe any marks off yourself. Might be typical for private basement rentals, I'm not sure. Also, they asked me to professionally program a light above the doorway to turn on and off automatically to save them money on electricity. They sent obscure instructions in a screen capture via text. Needless to say, this needed to be done by a professional... The landlords were unfriendly and disrespectful from the start, very cold and business-like, which was their prerogative, I thought, I'm not living WITH them...but it all got far worse as soon as the lease was done being signed. This is a couple in their 70s or 80s, and they appeared annoyed when I reported, on my first week at the unit, still unpacking and adjusting, that the garbage disposal was broken, and as a result, the sink leaked water all over the floor with every use. I was told "no one else ever complained about this" via email and the plumber showed up the next day, the male landlord supervising and acting surprisingly friendly. It was pretty clear I had not been the one who broke the sink, but the landlords still issued no apology for the inconvenience and didn't bother to thank me for my patience as I had to take time out of my day to monitor the plumber, too. Just a day later, I tried to run the dishwasher for the first time, since it had a strong stench of mothballs for some reason, and again, massive amounts of water spilled everywhere on the floor - I used 2 towels, soaked, to catch the water. I was again passive-aggressively told "no one else had these issues." No apology was issued by either landlord, only irritation at my requests. I can provide email proof of all of this. Around 2 AM, I got an email from the female landlord, mostly in all caps, telling me not to touch the washer/dryer, as they were expensive and she didn't want to "risk them being broken." Then things got worse. I had forgotten to pick up a letter from the IRS in their mailbox (where I was also getting mail, since the basement unit didn't have its own address.) After 5 days of a single envelope being left in their box, instead of simply texting or emailing me (they did not speak to me in person or face to face, only in writing), the female landlord took all of my mail (2 more envelopes were delivered that Friday, one of which contained a check) and stapled it ALL with heavy duty staples to a package I had also gotten that day. She proceeded to leave this in the rain, knowing that same day, I would be going to the mailbox to drop off my rent check for them. Needless to say, the contents in the envelopes were ripped and warped by the staples and rain. I have a photo with proof. When I called and asked why this was being done to my personal property, and even requested to speak to them in person to sort this out, I was yelled at and told by the female landlord "We are NOT your SLAVES" and she proceeded to hang up on me. I'm grateful my mother was there to witness the exchange, as I had never heard a grown (71-year-old) woman scream that way before. All I wanted was a text or email (since that had been their preferred method of communication) letting me know to check the mail more frequently, it was only my second week there. Sadly, passive aggression was the name of the game, and soon, it turned into actual aggression. Just 2 weeks later, about a month and a week into the lease, I got note of an Amazon package that had been delivered, with an image of proof of delivery at their front door. When I emailed politely to ask if they had seen it, the female landlord replied with the following email, verbatim: "It was a package which was deliveted yesterday WITHOUT NAME and i opened it. It was some TRASH inside from Australia. Like clensing materials which in Europe give free to low income people. I believe i put everything in the recicling bin. Have to take it out and see if this is what you are looking for." This was sort of the end of it for me. I spent several hours trying to figure out what to do, since she wasn't returning the package and I had checked the recycling bins to see if my things were there, as her email noted, only to be told by her "I saw you rooting through our trash, you have mental issues." The package had cosmetics in it worth about $38, not much, but it was still my things and paid for with my money, and the package could not have been sent without a name, as we all know. There was a sticker obscuring my name, but you could see through it if you looked closely. The point remains: these people deemed it appropriate to open a package they did not know was theirs, see the items inside were not theirs, and casually trash the entire thing, only to react angrily when I asked to get my things back... Long story short, tampering with mail that is not your own is a federal crime, so I called the police. The officers were both very confused and advised me to look for somewhere else to live after I explained the situation - she had managed to return the ripped-open package by the time they arrive an hour after my first call. I'm also happy to say my mail is no longer being touched by the landlords, but now I get texts from the female landlord, sometimes in all caps, angrily commanding me to pick up packages left on their steps since they refuse to touch my packages but seem to get angry if I don't remove them immediately. In my final weeks here, they stopped observing quiet hours, too. They may not realize how loud they are when walking, and these people are up from 11 PM (as I type this) to anywhere between 1 and 2 AM many nights during the week, walking on the main floor above the basement. They claimed upon move-in that they "spend most of the time upstairs." This is absolutely untrue, they tend to be up at all hours of the night having meetings of some kind (their conversation can also be heard through the vents), so the male landlord said this only to reassure me it would be quiet at night, since I specifically said I had trouble sleeping. When I emailed them a few weeks in, stating I could hear them in their home office DIRECTLY above my head as I tried to sleep (I could hear loud typing, a chair rolling around, and printing and slamming of desk drawers,) they said they would stop working between 12 AM and 2 AM. That lasted a while but perhaps now that I'm moving out, they're done showing any respect for the rules in their own contract. Also, when I reached out at one point asking if the female landlord could remove her shoes when walking in the house, as her husband voluntarily said she would, her reply via email was along the lines of "I refuse to reply to such an insulting accusation (???) and I was not home at that time, it was your imagination." So that was gaslighting, and yet another instance where the landlord directly disrespected a paying tenant, treating me like I should be grateful to be here, as if I'm "crashing." I moved in on Feb 2019. I am moving out the beginning of May 2019 (was hoping to leave in April but couldn't find a spot that soon.) Think about the kind of mental and emotional distress that would cause a person to pick up their life after 2 months and move. As nice as the area is, and as low as the price is that they offered, I highly recommend looking elsewhere and avoiding this nightmare experience. Also, I asked locally, and even happened to find a family friend who had worked with these landlords previously - the female landlord is a real estate agent in the area. The family friend immediately remembered her by name and said she only showed the family friend 3 properties before they asked to work with someone else - this person had made them extremely uncomfortable and they didn't wish to continue any contact with her. So it didn't take much to find external proof that...something is very amiss here.

  • 0
  • 5.0

    Responsiveness

  • 4.0

    Respect

  • 2.0

    Information

  • 5.0

    Condition

  • 5.0

    Pests

  • 3.0

    Safety

  • 3.0

    Social