Oh, this is good — our building has a 30-day shutoff notice from the water utility posted on the front door.

Not one of the tenants. The building. In other words, the leasing agency for the building hasn’t paid the water bill for long enough that under normal circumstances, it would be shut off, but as this is an apartment building, we’re given an extra 30 days to see if something can be worked out.

I’m thrilled about this one.

Update: Even better — I just tried calling the offices of Kauri Investments, our leasing agency, and couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone, not even a receptionist. Better and better…

Update: The following is the text of an e-mail I just sent to the sole Kauri employee with an easily accessible e-mail address on the Kauri website, after my failure in contacting anyone by phone.

From: Woody Hanscom
Date: Mon May 19, 2003 12:23:18 US/Pacific
To: kenta@kauri.com
Cc: parkseneca@speakeasy.net
Subject: Park Seneca Apts. water shutoff?

Kent –

I’m neither an investor nor a real estate professional, however I was unable either to reach anyone (even a receptionist) by calling the Kauri offices, and yours was the only e-mail I found for anyone at Kauri on the Kauri website. I do hope that this isn’t too much of an intrusion. I’m cc:ing this message to parkseneca@speakeasy.net, though I’m not currently sure who checks that e-mail account as it was set up under Melvin Kelly’s name, but he is no longer the building manager.

I am a resident of the Park Seneca Apartments, in unit 405, and this morning I found a notice posted on the front door of the apartment building alerting us to the fact that due to delinquent payments, we face having our water shut off in 30 days. I hope you’ll understand that I find this to be a fairly major concern. While I have fallen behind on bills from time to time in my life, when I do so, that affects only myself – not a 50-some unit apartment building.

In the year that I have lived here at the Park Seneca Apartments, I have had to cope with an elevator that seems to be broken more often than not, a renovation that seemed to drag on forever, with constantly shifting reports on when various services would be turned on or off, months without on-site laundry services, and a few weeks surrounding the replacement of the water heater when there was little to no hot water at all in the building. I have watched as many of my fellow tenants, equally or more disgusted with the difficulties encountered during the renovations, moved out. I chose to stay on, as I do enjoy the location of the building, its proximity to downtown and Capitol Hill, and as I haven’t wanted to deal with the hassles of trying to find another apartment and moving (not to mention attempting to move without the benefit of a working elevator). However, instances such as this shutoff notice go a long way to making me question the wisdom of continuing my residence here.

I sincerely hope that the current situation with the water bills will be resolved soon, and I (and my fellow tenants) will not have to deal with the severe inconvenience of not having water next month. My intent at this point is to continue living here, for all of the reasons previously stated. I did, however, feel that it was worthwhile to raise my concerns with the conditions I have been living with, in the hope that difficulties such as this will not be a concern in the future.


Michael “Woody” Hanscom

Who knows if it’ll do much good, but hey, I feel (a little) better.