[Rincon Center]

Rincon Center Tenants' Blog
Last updated August 11, 2009 | Bookmark this site | Contact us

www.RinconNeighbors.com > RCTA Home Page > Tenants' Blog

All Rincon Center tenants can submit comments to this online bulletin board. Constructive criticism is helpful but personal attacks are not. Please support your fellow tenants even if you are not experiencing the same issues they are. This blog was begun in response to the problems outlined on the RCTA homepage. The blog is monitored by a tenant. All submissions remain anonymous. Just submit your comment/question by e-mail.

Below are comments submitted by Rincon tenants.

[Mural scratches] [Flaking paint] The Tenants Association is monitoring the condition of the historic WPA murals in the Rincon Annex lobby. Several murals appear to be flaking and one, over the northwest door, has some nasty scratches. Management of the commercial side of Rincon Center seems concerned about what is happening to the murals but has refused to share what (if anything) they are doing to protect them. They have also asked the city for permission to install banners and signs in front of this national monument advertising some of their commercial tenants. Imagine a large (and unnecessary) Subway Sandwiches banner marring the front of this beautiful building.

The card dispenser in the east laundry is still not working. The man from Web personally saw this problem in May. I'm not aware that it has ever worked since then. We have to go to the west laundry to add money to the cards.

The concierge has a new, more straightforward form for tenants to indicate whether they will allow employees to enter their apartments to deliver things (or not). I suggest all tenants fill this out so it is clear. We don't want any more surprises.

[Garbage garden] A supervisor with the city has told the Tenants Assoc. that they will finally give this patch of invasive weeds some attention. It is over the Muni tunnel between Rincon and the Embarcadero. A public works spokesperson told "The Chronicle" that the patch would turn green again when the rains return, but we've been hearing that for two years. We told the supervisor we don't need flowering annuals -- the original low-maintenance plants were fine. Just don't completely ignore them.

I got a notice that I was past due rent since January 2009 and storage for 3 months. I have paid my rent and storage on time – these numbers do not even make sense. This reminds me of December 2008 when I got a “quit notice” for failure to pay rent that I have always, and timely, paid.

New top-load washers have been installed in the laundry. Thanks to management for recognizing how problematic the previous front-loading machines were. Web Laundry seemed to be having us test some new technology not ready for consumer use.

I agree that the rent due notices being sent out in error can be annoying, but I was able to get it resolved with just one quick phone call to the office. They should check things thoroughly on their end before sending the notices out, though. Equally annoying(or even more so)is the fire alarm going off almost every week. I wish something could be done with that.

July 26: I was advised that I could deduct my deposit interest from my January payment. This I did. Yesterday I received a notice from Rincon that I owed the money. This is the 3rd such notice I have received!! Each time before I explained the circumstances and was told not to worry about it. Boy, are these people disorganized!

Dear management, not everyone uses the email. Why do you think notices taped in the elevator look better than a bulletin board in the mailroom? I like the for sale notices.

[Erroneous past-due notice] July 26: A new round of past-due notices have been delivered and, once again, tenants are protesting that they are inaccurate. Some report having received three of these notices even though management tells them the error will be corrected each time. This has been an ongoing problem for many months. Management appears to have lost track of their customers' records and/or to have lost control of their accounting system. Unfortunately that doesn't stop them from sending out the notices. We must ask that the person whose signature appears on the notices take responsibility and research each situation before sending them out.

The Tenants Association has always monitored the BMR Program. We are particularly interested in knowing what BMR tenants are told when they re-certify and must change categories. Sometimes they are told they must wait for an opening when they re-certify down to a category with lower rent. If that happens to you, you should make sure you are not put on a waiting list behind non-tenants waiting to move here. We would also like to know if BMR tenants are EVER put on a waiting list when they re-certify up into a higher category with higher rent. Please keep us apprised.

July 22: In light of the parking rate going up, again, (now $300) tenants might want to consider ZipCar.com. They have cars right across the street in the Ace parking garage and also at Howard and Main. The cost is about $9 or $10 per hour, and they pay for the gas. There are also other similar rental companies in S.F. I got rid of my car and saved about $800 per month!

[Broken washers] This picture (right) answers the question about the laundries. Two machines were offline during the busy weekend just days after Web was here to work on them. Others still don't spin dry. Clothes come out totally soaked and dripping on the floor. Tenants must re-wash their laundry wasting time and money. All these problems just make the laundries more crowded. The card dispenser was also out of order again. Fortunately management has committed to replacing the washers.

Entering someone's apt without permission is totally unlawful. Did you or the tenants inform management or the police? I used to feel quite safe inside my apt. But ever since they changed to a different lock plus uninvited entry make me feel very uncomfortable. When it comes to issues, they are quite unfriendly and defensive.

The laundries were worked on Wednesday (7/15). Please let tenants know if the machines are functioning properly.

[Do Not Enter Form] Tenants have recently reported scary intrusions into their homes by Rincon employees. One tenant awoke to find an employee in his apartment. Another was coming out of the shower to find the uninvited guest. This can happen to tenants who did not fill out the confusing “Do Not Enter Form” that management passed out in May. These two tenants say they never got the form. The silly form states employees "do not have permission to enter my apartment" but it also states "In order to receive package delivery you must fill out this form..." Whatever they mean, we don’t believe employees can enter apartments because tenants did not take some vague action in advance to stop it. Management should instead have passed out forms that allow entry for delivering packages etc. You can click on the form (left) for a copy or ask for it at the front desk.

[Rincon One elevator lobby] The commercial side of Rincon Center has clearly taken the lead in recycling. Among other things, they have set up a receptacle for recycling batteries, plastic bags, cell phones, ink cartridges and CD/DVDs. It is located in the elevator lobby adjacent to the upper parking area for Rincon One (under the old post office). Thanks to Rod Collings and Beacon Capital Partners. Hopefully our residential landlord will try to catch up. Also, it is relatively easy to recycle electronics nearby at the Goodwill for free. All you have to do is drive down Mission Street to the drop-off center just before Van Ness. They will take all computers, monitors, printers, televisions, etc at no charge, working or not.

[Elevator notices] The tacky posting in the elevator last week is another screw we're getting from management while they are giving less customer service. Anything to squeeze another nickel from tenants while giving nothing in return. Any time they can think up a new rule to throw out there -- it's like being back in kindergarten. At the same time taking away the bulletin board, the bookcase on P1 East tower for free exchange of books, and our recycling bin for Goodwill. Everything for management, no goodwill towards tenants. Two or three of the front loading washers seem to be out of order whenever I use the laundry room. The sickeningly sweet odor of the spray deodorant used in the elevators almost causes nauseousness. Used, no doubt, to cover up the dog pee (or worse) in the elevators these days. Another dumb idea of management.

Editor: Hopefully the laundries are being closed to replace some of the washers that have caused many headaches.

First of all, Thank you for being such a wonderful advocate of the residents of Rincon. With that said, I am sorry that you have to deal with all the problems that the leasing office creates for all of us. A lot of us are REALLY over the little note in the elevator. It is embarrassing to bring guests in to read our "warnings".

As for the new "rules"
Lockouts - I pay to live here. Rincon provides a so called concierge with little to do all night. Furthermore, our lease says nothing about a charge for lockouts.

Visitors - If Rincon would bother getting the intercom repaired and working then the visitors would not be an issue. I do understand the fact that they are just keeping record but it's not fair to "warn" us when Rincon is simply blowing money on stuff like new chairs in the leasing office. Get our intercom fixed!

I am sure that if you visited any other residential highrise that you would not find "warnings to the residents" in the elevator. They are simply de-valuing the property by doing that. Rincon advertises that we are supposed to be a luxury residential building with a professional doorman. Give me break!! Of course it would help if our leasing office had actual residential management experience.

EDITOR: I agree that the notices look tacky. The elevators look very nice when they are maintained. I was surprised to learn how long the intercom has been out of commission. One of the problems with frequent management turnover is that we must keep re-inventing the wheel. Previously they agreed to our request for one free lockout every six months. It’ll happen to everyone now and then. They said their main concern was tenants who do it frequently. Let us know if management actually charges for one lockout.

[Erroneous past-due notice] Overall, I am not impressed with the staff or management. I have received several payment due notices which are completely inaccurate. It’s quite upsetting since I have lived here for years and have always paid my rent on time. Once they realize their error, they don’t even apologize for the inconvenience. Since the staff changes so often, I’m just waiting for the next change. It’s just never going to be like it was when Sandy was here.

July 6: Management seems to have turned its sites on the storage area now. One tenant reports they cut the locks off his storage unit even though his rent is paid. They went through his things. If you want a cheaper alternative, the Public Storage web site makes it surprisingly easy to find storage elsewhere. The first month is usually free. The site has a Google map that you can scroll to other areas and easily check the prices. They have places all over town including Second Street. The more you go down the peninsula or into the east bay, the cheaper the prices get. For example, you can get a very clean (and private) unit at a brand new Public Storage place right off I-80 in Berkeley for $54 a month. The location is fine if you drive and/or don’t really need frequent access. It only takes 15-minutes to get there. The almost $100 you save every month will immediately cover any costs associated with moving your stuff there.

July 4: Let the Tenants Association know if you find this information worthwhile.

[Do not enter notice] July 3: Warning -- Rincon employees might let themselves into your apartment if you did not fill out the (reverse logic) "Do Not Enter Form" they distributed last May. As you may know, employees should never enter our homes except in an emergency or if they have given us 24-hour advance notice. Allowing themselves to enter unless we have prohibited it on a form in advance is inappropriate. They should have distributed forms that allow us (if we choose) to give them permission to enter to deliver packages or whatever. If you need the entry prohibition form, ask at the front desk or leasing office. The phone number to the desk is 543-4327.

July 2: I totally agree with your opinion. I miss Sandy. My new unreliable door lock makes me feel unsafe inside my own apt.

July 1: Apparently Clark the Concierge is no longer here. Good bye. Good luck.

July 1: I went to see the new building manager because I learned that the previous manager and her entire staff were suddenly gone. The previous manager and I were working on problems about errors on rent payments not credited, incorrect rent amounts on leases, etc. The new manager told me that "whatever agreement I had with the previous manager should be taken up with her" and that she will not honor what has been agreed upon. It felt like Obama telling the people of the U.S. that whatever executive decisions Bush made or signed when he was president will not be honored and if you have a problem with that "take it up with Bush"! When I raised this as an example, she said she needed to breathe because I was getting her upset. She then went into a yoga pose (for breathing) and closed her eyes. I think our New York "luxurious" building owners have just hired an inexperienced manager with no customer service 101 skills.

July 1: Speaking of the laundry, anybody know how to get the extended wash time? It costs more. Some machines seem to do it whether you want it or not. Others won't do it no matter what.

June 30: Tenants, look out for washer number 196 in the east laundry. It sounds like it is doing its thing, but the tumbler doesn't actually turn. Why does Maytag bother putting plexiglass on the door when it's so dark you can hardly see inside?

June 29: The current market rents (as of last week) for new residents on studios are starting in the $1450/mo range, 1BR around $1800 and 2BRs around $2450 after incentives. Current residents should use these numbers as a guideline when renewing leases. Might also be a good idea to call the leasing office acting as a prospective client to see where the market rates are.

June 29: I personally haven't had a problem with billing and/or management. But, I have noticed that It does take them a long time to respond. And there also seems to be constant change of faces at the front desk. Management does seem to be in a disarray, however. I think it would be an excellent idea to have a tenant's meeting...I can't remember the last one we had...it's important that we communicate....and stay on the same page....

June 28: thank you for listening and helping me. i wanted to comment that my lease was also backdated.

[Erroneous past-due notice] June 28: I keep getting these ‘friendly reminders’ about my check being late…I’ll typically mail it on the 31st or 1st but they don’t cash it until the 10th. It drives me a little nuts that I can’t just drop it off somewhere here… 2ndly, the laundry room…The Maytag repairman must be swamped…the machines are unreliable. Lastly, I thought they were planning on paying out interest on our deposits? I was told that they only pay it out after I’ve moved out.

EDITOR: This concept of mailing checks has been problematic. Apparently a six-line address is considered inappropriate by the Postal Service, so it was changed to five. I'm not sure management can (nor should) be that picky about how they accept our money. Anyone else have any thoughts? Last I heard they had to repay our deposit interest yearly. Anyone know for sure?

June 27: I really appreciate the Tenants Association keeping us BMR tenants informed of our rights and Rincon's living situations.

June 26: My lease was just dropped off for me to sign. Though this is June 26, the lease is from March 2009-Feb 2010.

EDITOR: This seems to be a common problem. I don't know if it is legal for them to backdate leases like that. It is certainly suspect. My guess is that it depends on whether the tenant signs it. I suggest you ask them to use the current date and extend it through June, 2010.

June 24: I was notified that my rent is increasing by 4%. Any comments? They indicated that they might go up in rent every year by 4%.

EDITOR: That seems common for market-rate tenants.

June 23: We had another instance this weekend of urine in the elevators. I talked on Sunday evening to the concierge at the front desk. He said it had been reported. Personally, I think allowing pets is one of the worst decisions the new owners have made.

Management told me that the washers don't spin dry if the user BEFORE you used too much soap. In any case, they should not be that sensitive. I have used many front loaders in commercial laundromats and have never seen this problem. I had the rinsing issue this past week myself. The washer rinsed fine but never spun, resulting in triple drying time. Also very frustrating. And, since I usually do wash at odd hours, there is no one in the office to report it to. So I have to either have paper and pen with me when I go down to write myself a note or remember after I come up to leave a message on their voice mail. Makes doing laundry here a real pain.

EDITOR: I met with reps from Web Laundry and was told the same story. I also do not understand what the previous user's soap has to do with my spin dry cycle. Between his wash cycle and my spin dry, the washer would have emptied all its water four times (his wash and rinse, and my wash and rinse).

June 20: I would like to see Rincon return the folding table to the laundry room in the West tower. Thanks for all you do.

June 18: Thanks for all the information, and Hooray re new washers! Of course, “oversudsing” has nothing to do with the failure of the spin cycles – I have had a lot of problems with that too.

June 17: I just received news that they are increasing my rent by $65 a month, and they made me sign a new lease not too long ago (almost 10 days ago.) They are also wanting to charge me the rent increase back to January 2009. I'd like to know if that is right? I thought they had to give me 60 days notice prior to the end of my lease or something? Shall I inform the city officials in some way (do you know who/how to contact them?)

EDITOR: I will work with you on this matter offline. They absolutely should not be charging you a rent increase retroactively. Tenants must receive 30-days notice before any rent increase can be implemented.

June 15: thanks again for your support, it helped knowing i was not alone.

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