Management Answers Multiple Questions from GGTA

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The Golden Gateway Tenants Association has received numerous complaints from residents over the past few months touching on a variety of issues with elevators, maintenance, smoking, and the behavior of fellow tenants and their animals. We tried several times to set a meeting with management to discuss these issues, but were told they do not have time in their schedules to meet until after Thanksgiving.

However, Director of Property Management Clarisse Tan took the time to email answers to several of our questions. Below, we have posted what we emailed and her responses.

As we have told many residents, the best way to get results is to document complaints to Gateway management via email. Simply calling the main office and leaving a message usually does not yield action. Once management sees a pattern of complaints about a maintenance issue or concerning the behavior of another tenant, they can better target the problem. More specifics are best, including time and exact location (for example: “we saw a mouse in our bathroom at 8 a.m. Oct. 12, 7:30 a.m. Oct. 16 and 9 a.m. Oct. 19”). For unit-specific maintenance requests, use the “Residents” button on the Gateway Apartments and Townhomes website.

Also, as we’ve mentioned before on Nextdoor, you can anonymously submit complaints to the Department of Building Inspection here: http://sfdbi.org/filing-complaint. However, a contact at DBI recently told us it is far better to leave your name and contact information so the inspector can follow up with you. You can also request to attend the inspection.

To post reviews of the Gateway to share your experiences, you can Apartmentratings.com or Yelp.

Here now are the questions and answers we received.

GGTA QUESTION 1. Elevators: We would like to discuss elevator maintenance and safety, and would appreciate it if we could view photos of the controls rooms since we are not allowed access. We also would like information on the name of the vendor and whether this is a new vendor or the same one that has been servicing the elevators since the controls upgrade a few years ago. We understand that the heat recently affected the elevator controls, but there is a long list of complaints to DBI about the elevators. I know of no other buildings with the frequency of outages as the Gateway has.

Also, we’d like to discuss procedures and policies in the event the elevators go down with people trapped inside. We have heard about two instances this month in which people were stuck for more than an hour. I was told one group finally had to call the SF Fire Department because management did not promptly respond to the situation.

GATEWAY RESPONSE 1: – Elevators: We have hired a third party to perform an audit on our elevators. Yes, we experience issues due to the frequency of use, but it was determined that the functionality of our elevators have actually improved since the new system was installed. When/if people get trapped in the elevators, we have been instructed by KONE, our elevator vendor, to reset the elevator. If that does not work, we have to absolutely call in and get a tech out to the property ASAP. We stay in contact with the individual(s) who is stuck in the elevator to insure they are okay and for the most part either a patrolman, doorman or engineer is right outside the elevator ready to assist when our vendor arrives.

GGTA QUESTION 2. Laundry: We would appreciate a discussion of the laundry room flooding and who is responsible. We are hearing that WASH needs to clean the lines more frequently, but WASH employees have told residents that the problem lies in the pipes. We would like clarification of what is being done to mitigate the flooding and an update on the contract for new machines.

GATEWAY RESPONSE 2: Laundry – We are finalizing the new contract with WASH, our vendor. We anticipate repairs in Vista West and Vista East to occur in Q4 of this year and for new equipment (washers/dryers) arrival/install in Q1 2018.

GGTA QUESTION 3. Weekend repairs: Several residents have contacted GGTA in the past few months to notify us that they cannot get emergency repairs done on weekends. They are told by the front desk employees that no one is available on weekends. We understand this is untrue — there are engineers on site on weekends, and third-party vendors can be called if needed — so we are unsure why tenants are being told no one is available. Can we please discuss procedures for weekend repairs and what constitutes an emergency?

GATEWAY RESPONSE 3. Weekend repairs – Please be advised that we have an engineer onsite until 8pm daily. Should an emergency service request occur after 8pm (see attachment listing the types of service requests that constitutes a “red ticket”) the Front Desk contacts an engineer(s) to come in and take care of the emergency work order. If our engineer is unable to remedy the situation, a third party vendor is contacted with an approval from the Manager on Duty.

*Please note that the attached Service Request Priority Guide is also available on our Resident Portal under Maintenance.

GGTA QUESTION 4. Dogs: We understand that the Gateway cannot disallow emotional therapy animals, and we know many tenants now have dogs. It has never been a problem to my knowledge until August, when someone in Vista North got a puppy that barks and yelps sporadically all day and night. The sound echoes throughout the complex, creating a nuisance for other tenants. We would like to discuss what is being done to prevent this from continuing and whether the tenant has been notified that this noise is a violation of their lease.

GATEWAY RESPONSE 4. Dogs – We have addressed this issue with the resident in Vista North, 9th floor.

GGTA QUESTION 5. Other noise and nuisances: Many tenants in more than one of the towers have complained to me that they are kept awake at all hours of the night by other residents who have loud parties on their balconies. They say they’ve called the guards numerous times over the span of many months, and the behavior continues. Several tenants have told me they have found cigarette butts on their balconies and burn holes in their property. Given the extreme noise and fire safety issues, we would like clarification on what tenants need to do to properly document complaints against other tenants and what the procedures are for management to respond to these series of ongoing complaints.

GATEWAY RESPONSE 5. Other noise and nuisances – When neighboring residents hear excessive noise coming from another unit, they should contact the Front Desk immediately so that our staff can record the complaint and dispatch patrol to investigate. They too create a log of the incident. We address the nuisance with the originator. We send a warning notice, then a second notice and final if the issue persists. If the residents do not abide by management’s attempt for an informal resolution, a 3-day notice to perform covenant or quit is issued. Please note, quiet hours is from 10pm to 8am.

With regards to smoking in a unit, all move-ins that occur from June 2014 and later are under the new “non-smoking” lease, which means the premise is completely smoke-free. If the move-in occurred prior to June 2014, the residents have the option of smoking in their unit. If cigarette butts are improperly disposed of, a notice is sent to the offending resident. If cigarette butts are improperly disposed of from a non-smoking unit then the same noticing procedure occurs as noise complaints (warning, 2nd notice, final notice, then 3-day notice to perform covenant or quit). For the most part, when residents call to report an issue like this, they are unable to determine which specific unit is committing the nuisance. What we end up doing is sending a mass notice to the units on the above floors and to the unit stacks to its left and right. This will work but sometimes, the issue will resurface. It is extremely hard to address a problem if we are unable to determine the source. The reason for multiple attempts for informal resolution is if we go to court, the judge would more likely rule in our favor as the landlord showcases their great effort to informally resolve the matter prior to evicting the resident(s).