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  1. #1
    mdpharr is offline Junior Member
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    Stuck in an Elevator

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? North Carolina

    I was on my way back to work and I got stuck in the elevator of my apartment complex for about an hour before the elevator company had to come and turn it back on. But in spite of me being stuck in the elevator, the phone in the elevator did not work, luckily enough I had to roam around the elevator with my personal phone and called the apartment office and told them the situation otherwise I would have been in serious problem. I talked to the office manager the day after the incident and she just gave me a $30 gift card, I guess to solve the issue, but I was just wondering if I could get some advice on whether or I was treated justly.

    Thanks!
  2. #2
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdpharr View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? North Carolina

    I was on my way back to work and I got stuck in the elevator of my apartment complex for about an hour before the elevator company had to come and turn it back on. But in spite of me being stuck in the elevator, the phone in the elevator did not work, luckily enough I had to roam around the elevator with my personal phone and called the apartment office and told them the situation otherwise I would have been in serious problem. I talked to the office manager the day after the incident and she just gave me a $30 gift card, I guess to solve the issue, but I was just wondering if I could get some advice on whether or I was treated justly.

    Thanks!
    You were treated well. In fact, I would have apologized, saw to the repair and thanked you for informing me of the problem. You got more out of her than you would have out of me.
  3. #3
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    You got 30.00 dollars more than you should have gotten. I would say you were overly compensated.

    As stated above an apology would have been the only thing owed.

    But, if you think you are owed more, sue your landlord for lost income, pain and suffering, and psychological damage.
  4. #4
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    the gift card was quite nice but really the LL didnt have to do even that. If you think its worth more go ahead spend money on a atty , any thing over and above the gift card likely will be eaten up in legal fees.
  5. #5
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Not to disagree with learned collegues, but why was the elevator stuck? Why didn't the phone work? Did the landlord know or should have known through reasonable inspection there was a problem with either? If so, was there attempt to make safe, perhaps through warning, the defect?

    And, depending on the answers, what were your damages?

    I bet a $30 gift card is all you're going to get as you probably don't have a lot of damages in the first place (unless the annunal inspection was late or the problem was patent) and the fact the phone being out didn't cost you much or anything in damages in the second. (I think the broken phone is likely to have been in the "know or should have known" category unless hooligans just broke it quite recently.)
  6. #6
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    the phone being broken could be a code violation and, if not fixed by now, should be reported to the folks that hang those certificates on the wall in the elevator.


    btw; whether the phone was working or not; I have never seen a telephone emergency phone that allowed you to call people so if the phone was working and you did not have your cell, you would not have been able to contact your employer and the folks on the other end of the emergency phone most likely would not have called them either.
  7. #7
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Ditto - STUFF HAPPENS!!! You got a $30 gift card which is more than the incident is worth.
  8. #8
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Sure, stuff can happen. Here, depending on the answers to my questions, "stuff" may also be called "negligence".

    Landlords with a dismissive attitude towards legitimate harms done by them to their tenants deserve anything they get. My goodness, copping an attitude in an instance like this could get a tenant with a bug up his behind regarding the FMV of his time and the extreme emotional distress caused from his callous disregard for the safety of his tenants and maybe some punitives if there is some violation of statute involved. BS? Maybe. But people in the wrong should be nice--else it could bite them in the backside.
  9. #9
    TigerD is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    Sure, stuff can happen. Here, depending on the answers to my questions, "stuff" may also be called "negligence".

    Landlords with a dismissive attitude towards legitimate harms done by them to their tenants deserve anything they get. My goodness, copping an attitude in an instance like this could get a tenant with a bug up his behind regarding the FMV of his time and the extreme emotional distress caused from his callous disregard for the safety of his tenants and maybe some punitives if there is some violation of statute involved. BS? Maybe. But people in the wrong should be nice--else it could bite them in the backside.
    Not to mention disability for the claustrophobia flare up caused by being locked in a small box for an extended period of time. Being locked in a small space can be extremely distressing to some people.

    DC
  10. #10
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Not to mention disability for the claustrophobia flare up caused by being locked in a small box for an extended period of time. Being locked in a small space can be extremely distressing to some people**************.THEN TAKE THE STAIRS!!!
  11. #11
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Bzzt!! Sorry, but thanks for playing. The correct answer is for the landlord to regularly inspect the common areas and to make safe, perhaps through warning, any risks.

    Google "eggshell plaintiff".
  12. #12
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Other correct answer is that elevators don’t IM landlords that they are about to go on the blink. Elevators are inspected when PM is due and barring any incidents, there is no reason for landlords or management to patrol the elevator area pretending that they know what they are doing.

    The response she got from management was overly generous and perhaps may have inadvertently encouraged OP and everyone else affected at the time to explore the possibility of further compensation.

    Landlords should be aware that there are many people looking for an opportunity for financial gain wherever they can find it. The 30.00 gift was a mistake.
  13. #13
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Agreed - $30 gift card was a mistake. PITA tenant who continues to keep their hand out, rarely gets rewarded!!
  14. #14
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    We don't know the facts here. We do know there are inspection proceedures given landlords regarding elevators and know there are standards in maintenance that a landlord should know. Including the checking of the (often, required by statute) phone at regular intervals. We don't even know of the required annual maintenance had been done or the reason why the elevator and the phone malfunctioned. However, the LAW on the matter is clear and has been stated twice by me.

    Landlords who mistreat tenants and tell them to pound sand when they have legitimate complaints seem to end up in court lots more than nice ones. Is $30 an adequate compensation for the harm? Maybe. I might accept it if all I lost was an hour and didn't have any other ramifications. But, if the person giving it to me gave it to me expressed some attitude like they were doing me a favor when, in fact, it is I who would be doing them a favor by accepting it--I don't know.

    Apartments can go downhill quickly when tenants feel everything is a battle with management. Landlords who disrespect tenants should carry around a putty knife because there's going to be a LOT more gum on the floor.

    Info edit:
    Another fact which would profoundly hurt the landlord is if he had some complaints about the elevator's operation or phone malfunction prior to the event without then getting elevator maintenance out there.
    Last edited by tranquility; 09-11-2009 at 06:04 PM.
  15. #15
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Landlords who mistreat tenants and tell them to pound sand when they have legitimate complaints seem to end up in court lots more than nice ones. Is $30 an adequate compensation for the harm?
    What harm? What are the damages? At most, OP was inconvenienced. And to answer your question…. Yes, it was VERY adequate. This is not about the mistreatment of a tenant. This was about an unfortunate delay due to an elevator mishap that you are trying your best to turn into a major calamity.

    Apartments can go downhill quickly when tenants feel everything is a battle with management. Landlords who disrespect tenants should carry around a putty knife because there's going to be a LOT more gum on the floor.
    Tenants that engage in passive aggressive behavior are usually easily identified by their present and past behavior. The outcome is usually more severe for the tenant than the transgression committed on the landlord. I used to have a cigarette problem in my common area; the tenant responsible was quickly turned in when I informed tenants that everyone that was a known smoker would be getting a rate hike. Problem solved and the tenant identified is gone.

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