Monday, July 11, 2005


It's been a few days since I've posted but work has been hectic but productive. I come to you today to talk about the number one person that I am "dissatisfied" with. The jerk's name is Guy Cherwonuk. A quick googling of his name will produce his website

//www.viningsbuildinggroup.com/

And this is what they have to say about him.

Guy Cherwonuk, President of Vinings Building Group, graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1987. After graduation he moved to New York to work in the real estate workout department of the Chase Manhattan Bank, followed by a position as a Commercial Loan Officer. After working in Manhattan, he served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army. Following his military duty, he returned to Atlanta, where he started a renovation and building company.

Since establishing Vinings Building Group in 1996, Guy Cherwonuk has credited the Company’s success to his philosophy of “hard work and exceeding his clients’ expectations.” This philosophy is realized by partnering with top builders, developers and leaders in the business. He develops great working relationships with his partners and clients before, during and after the construction process.

And this is what I have to say about him: SlumLord. I have heard of some horror stories of landlord-tennant relationships being bad but seriously, this is ridiculous. I live in one of his run down converted shacks that he has promised to be a faithful and dutiful landlord of but the man is such a crook. His company owns shady real estate that he markets as perfect little cottages. The pictures on his website are ridiculous; they must've been taken in the 70's when the house was first renovated:

http://www.shoawing247.com/viningscapital/1033hemphill/

Those pictures are complete BS. The floors have holes, there is no insulation, and the bathrooms are covered in mold. There are cracks in walls and ceilings, which by the way, were painted over to make them look legit until midway through the semester. And the kicker is this: I live in a room that is constantly filling with water. It never fails. I have 3 individual leaks which all endanger my computer and bed and i'm not talking about drips, but flooding on the Noah scale. I put a 5 gallon cooler underneath one of the "drips" and by morning, literally 5 hours later, it was 4/5 full. This is ridiculous.

Furthermore, the slumlord is unreachable. One time, about a different issue with the house from hell, we called him and we got his "secretary." The man has a distinctive voice and an even more distinctive way of talking and it was obviously him answering his phone, but he forwarded us to "his boss's" voicemail. Absolute BS, but under the annonimity of the phone shield he hides. Moreover, I've told him about this leak 5 individual times. He has come to look at it 0 times. So finally, today, I've looked up the Georgia-landlord tennant law, refused to pay rent, and left him a voicemail. This is the legalistic email I sent him:

Guy Cherwonuk and whomever else this concerns:

My name is **** and I am reporting for the 5th
separate instance about a leak in the roof of my room, the room on the
front right of the house on the bottom floor with a door to the
outside. My ceiling is now leaking in 3 separate places and I have
repeatedly called, come into contact with you over 8 times during the
course of my lease. Each time, I was assured that someone would be
out to fix my roof. Due to class and work schedules, I was not able
to visually verify that the problem had been addressed (I didn't
personally see a person come to fix the roof); however, since you the
landlord assured me that a person had come by, I assumed it had been
taken care of.

As to the extent of the leak, last night I placed a 5 gallon water
cooler underneath the leaks to prevent the water from getting to my
computer and this morning it was filled half-way. Each time you
acknowledged the problem, and said you were going to fix it and it
hasn't been fixed. One of the leaks is near the large window closest
to the parking lot above my bed. The other two are directly over my
desk and computer. I cannot sleep in the room. The smell and
conditions of the room (including water puddles everywhere) make the
room uninhabitable. I have taken every possible measure in order to
communicate and provide you with accurate information to help you
locate the problem, and you continue to ignore my requests.

Therefore, I am witholding rent this month until you as the landlord
physically come out to fix the roof (or send someone in your stead),
provide proof that you've fixed the roof, and received a signed
agreement that it was satisfactorily repaired. Additionally, I do not
expect this to affect my security deposit towards the house as this
was a problem caused by normal wear and tear. Furthermore, if you the
landlord continue to ignore the problem further action will be taken
as. A non-response to emails and phonecalls will be taken as a sign
of non-compliance.

I hope that we can work this out so that we are both satisfied.

Additionally, check this out. He assumed that I wouldn't go through the hassle of consulting lawyers and real estate agents but I've consulted two lawyers (one fraternity related and real estate specialist, one in the family and a contract specialist), a real estate agent, and some other people of more experience and intelligence. And this is what the law says:

44-7-20 G
*** CODE SECTION *** 12/03/01

44-7-20.

When the owner of real property, either directly or through an
agent, seeks to lease or rent that property for residential
occupancy, prior to entering a written agreement for the leasehold
of that property, the owner shall, either directly or through an
agent, notify the prospective tenant in writing of the property's
propensity of flooding if flooding has damaged any portion of the
living space covered by the lease or attachments thereto to which
the tenant or the tenant's resident relative has sole and exclusive
use under the written agreement at least three times during the
five-year period immediately preceding the date of the lease. An
owner failing to give such notice shall be liable in tort to the
tenant and the tenant's family residing on the leased premises for
damages to the personal property of the lessee or a resident
relative of the lessee which is proximately caused by flooding which
occurs during the term of the lease. For purposes of this Code
section, flooding is defined as the inundation of a portion of the
living space covered by the lease which was caused by an increased
water level in an established water source such as a river, stream,
or drainage ditch or as a ponding of water at or near the point
where heavy or excessive rain fell. This Code section shall apply
only to leaseholds entered into on or after July 1, 1995.

So hopefully, because my room, our laundry room, my bathroom and one of the two kitchens is constantly under a half inch of water from improper drainage of our land, etc. that qualifies our house to be classified as flooded. In addition to that, we worry that the slumlord Guy Cherwonuk will try and steal our security deposits, when in reality, the house is in better shape than we got it in on a technicality:

44-7-33 G
*** CODE SECTION *** 12/03/01

44-7-33.

(a) Prior to tendering a security deposit, the tenant shall be
presented with a comprehensive list of any existing damage to the
premises, which list shall be for the tenant's permanent retention.
The tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises to ascertain
the accuracy of the list prior to taking occupancy. The landlord and
the tenant shall sign the list and this shall be conclusive evidence
of the accuracy of the list but shall not be conclusive as to latent
defects. If the tenant refuses to sign the list, the tenant shall
state specifically in writing the items on the list to which he
dissents and shall sign such statement of dissent.

&

44-7-35 G
*** CODE SECTION *** 12/03/01

44-7-35.

(b) The failure of a landlord to provide each of the written
statements within the time periods specified in Code Sections
44-7-33 and 44-7-34 shall work a forfeiture of all his rights to
withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring an action
against the tenant for damages to the premises.


Our slumlord has a lease that is about as leaky as my ceiling. If me, the lowly student at Georgia Tech can figure out the holes in it. The man was an idiot. According to georgia law, HE, the Landlord must provide the proper documentation and list of damages not us, the tennants. Instead, he forced and insisted upon us doing it, thereby trying to put the liability on us. Therefore, according the 44-7-35 (b), he forfeits ALL of his rights to witholding any portion of the security deposit or to bring an action against us for any KIND of damage. So barring us intentionally burning our house down, I think that we are GOOD. I hate to toot my own horn, but I'm going to be a damn good lawyer.

4 Comments:

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At 1:05 PM, Blogger Avalee Jenkins said...

He's my landlord now and he's awful! Did you get any of your security deposit back??

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Phil Meek said...

Sounds like you are sour-grapes because you found out you were suppose to fix the leak according to the terms of the lease! Either that or you just didn't have the rent money so you made up this story.

So which one was it? You didn't have the rent money or you were just mad. Nobody sits around with a leaky roof month after month without at least trying to fix the leak. Poor excuse for such a tall tale.

I personally have never known Guy be unkind or unfair with anyone so I'm going with the idea that you were angry because you were responsible under the lease to take care of it. The same lease your allegedly read and signed by the way.

As far as the state of the "shack", apparently it was good enough, because you signed a lease and moved in. Either you have poor judgement or bad taste according to your comments. I think you just lied.

Contrary to your post, I think you would make a bad lawyer. Lawyers usually read documents before they sign them.

 

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