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MARK-TAYLOR'S THE PIEDMONT LUXURY RENTALS, "HIGH END LIVING"

These are actual photos and videos from The Piedmont, a Mark-Taylor rental building in Tempe, AZ where two of my sons (ASU students) were renting. One began his lease on May 11, 2022 and these photos and videos cover various days all the way through June 7, 2023. These illustrate issues that I considered serious health and safety concerns, some of which I feel strongly violate Arizona Landlord/Tenant law that the building refused to address and they claimed through their law firm Clark & Walker, P.C. were NOT violations according to AZ law. For me, the disagreements escalated because initially I was not concerned about the law, I was concerned about the safety of my sons and their friends, especially young single women that may come home alone late at night. Instead of focusing on those concerns, Mark-Taylor Inc. sent their law firm after me. Given Mark-Taylor Inc's website says "Our mission is to create exceptional communities that invite, inspire, and feel like home", I personally found there to be a large disconnect between their marketing slogans and their actual concern for the tenants. I am not an attorney so I will let you be the judge of the severity of the issues and the level of safety this building and its' landlord provided.

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The attorney representing Mark-Taylor Inc. and its President John Carlson, sent me a letter regarding the complaints about leaking garbage bags sitting in the hallways, pet feces and urine in many of the carpeted areas, and the fact that my son did not have consistent hot water for the first 10 1/2 weeks he moved in. The biggest issue for me was the outside doors that allowed anyone to enter the building without having a resident fob. THE EXACT WORDS THAT THE ATTORNEY, COLIN CLARK SENT TO ME ON BEHALF OF HIS CLIENT WERE "...THE MAINTENANCE ITEMS DO NOT RISE TO A HEALTH AND SAFETY NONCOMPLIANCE AS DEFINED BY ARIZONA LAW..." I AM NOT A LAWYER, I'M A FATHER CONCERNED FOR THE SAFETY OF MY CHILDREN, BUT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THIS IS THE PRECISE WORDING OF THE ARIZONA RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD TENANT ACT: 

"1. Comply with the requirements of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety as prescribed in section 9-1303.
2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.
3. Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
4. Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him.
5. Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal.
6. Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times..."

AGAIN MARK-TAYLOR INC CLAIMED THAT THE CONDITIONS YOU WILL SEE IN THESE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS "...DO NOT RISE TO A HEALTH AND SAFETY NONCOMPLIANCE AS DEFINED BY ARIZONA LAW..."

I AM PROVIDING NON-DOCTORED PHOTOS AND VIDEOS AND YOU CAN DECIDE FOR YOURSELF WHAT TYPE OF COMPANY MARK-TAYLOR INC. REALLY IS, AND WHAT TYPE OF MAN JOHN CARLSON REALLY IS.

This is just a view of the carpeting, stained from leaking garbage bags and unknown substances outside of my son's doorway.

This video clip shows an access door to the interior of the building. It is supposed to be locked and only accessible to residents that use a fob to open it. As you can see, the public can just push on the door and gain building access. More than once vagrants were camped out out inside the building in common area hallways outside of residents' apartments. In my opinion it it is incredibly unsafe and could lead to a violent encounter. Attorney Colin Clark, speaking for his client Mark-Taylor Inc. and their President John Carlson described this as "3 entry doors left ajar." It's very clear from the photos and videos these doors ARE NOT AJAR, THEY HAVE BROKEN LOCKS, From mid-May 2022 when my first son moved in through at least June 7, 2023 the doors remained broken and the public interior of the building remained fully accessible to strangers. A MAJOR SAFETY VIOLATION IN MY OPINION AS WELL AS A DANGEROUS SITUATION FOR MY KIDS AND THEIR FRIENDS. FURTHERMORE IN TERMS OF THE VAGRANTS ACCOSTING RESIDENTS, MARK-TAYLOR INC. HAS SAID THEY HAVE NO INVOLVEMENT WITH THAT, IT IS AN ISSUE FOR THE TEMPE POLICE. WHEN A 911 CALL WAS PLACED TO THE TEMPE POLICE REGARDING A VAGRANT INSIDE THE BUILDING, THEY SAID (AND I AM PARAPHRASING, NOT QUOTING) MARK-TAYLOR INC. HAS EXPRESSLY NOT GIVEN PERMISSION FOR THE TEMPE POLICE TO REMOVE ANY TRESPASSERS IN THE BUILDING, THE MOST THE POLICE CAN DO IS COME TALK TO THE MAN. AGAIN DECIDE FOR YOURSELF IF MARK-TAYLOR INC. IS RUNNING A SAFE BUILDING AND DO YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN LIVING UNDER THESE CONDITIONS. THIS HAS BEEN THE CASE SINCE MOVE-IN MAY 11, 2022 AND HAS BEEN THE CASE SINCE AT LEAST THROUGH JUNE 7, 2023.

xx

This building access door had a broken lock from Day 1 of the lease until I wrote the landlord's attorney and told him my opinion was that it was a major safety violation because Mark-Taylor Inc never set things up so that the Tempe Police could properly protect residents inside the common hallways. They denied any safety issue for weeks, and THE DOOR WAS LEFT UNFIXED FOR OVER A YEAR. On June 7, 2023 I  informed them of the complete lack of any oversight by the police, the fact that the Tempe police confirmed they were never given permission to handle those safety issues by Mark-Taylor Inc. Within 48 hours workers were suddenly in the garage fixing this door. The months of my complaints and accusations were met with denials and threats by their attorneys until I pointed out what I felt was a violation that broke Arizona law. It may be coincidental but somehow that revelation accompanied a virtual immediate response from the landlord.

This is an actual email sent by my son to Piedmont management on July 15, 2022. His move-in date was May 11, 2022 - 66 days earlier. As of then he had experienced ongoing issue just getting hot water.

xxxxx Kessler <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>

Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 1:19 AM

to Piedmont

Dear Piedmont Management,
M
y hot water has been out for most of the time living here— over two months. Both management and maintenance have been telling me that I might need a new thermometer, yet they continue to come in to my apartment for five minutes and leave me with a temporary fix of hot water for only a day, if not hours. I think its getting a little ridiculous that I am still not able to properly wash dishes, take a warm shower, or wash any clothes that require heat considering my numerous requests that have been ongoing since my arrival at Piedmont. I am aware that you are having maintenance hold ups, but I am paying full rent for living at a class-A apartment complex with NO supply of hot water. I have also come to understand that my maintenance request from Saturday has been put on hold and it is unusually difficult to contact Piedmont Management via phone. I need my apartment to either be made a priority or my rent be discounted going forward until my water is fixed.

Kessler
Apartment 6001

DID MARK-TAYLOR INC. LIE THROUGH THEIR ATTORNEY WHEN THEY WROTE THAT MY COMPLAINTS - INCLUDING NO  HOT WATER FOR 66 DAYS - DID NOT VIOLATE AZ LAW?? 

n terms of not having reliable or consistent hot water for at least 66 days, the above emails from me and my son, and the response from Mark-Taylor Inc. (Jess Nelson not only apologizes for the length of time this has gone on but her signature includes "Leasing Team/The Piedmont in Tempe AND piedmont@mark-taylor.com. So Mark-Taylor Inc. was aware in July of 2022 of the fact that my son had gone 66 days without regular hot water and there were at a minimum FIVE separate maintenance visits that failed to fix it. What the company is saying through their attorney is important here too. MARK-TAYLOR INC. DENIED THAT THE CONDITIONS YOU WILL SEE IN THESE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS "...DO NOT RISE TO A HEALTH AND SAFETY NONCOMPLIANCE AS DEFINED BY ARIZONA LAW..." 

Mark-Taylor Inc. could deny that this was in my opinion an outright lie and say they didn't know the law. Though on their website they write "....our management leadership team is the most financially sophisticated within the industry and has been acutely trained in attention to daily operating details."  Attention to daily operating details seems like it would include making sure tenants have hot water. Since I'm not an attorney and have connection to real estate, it's really up to a judge to decide if Colin Clark's email contained a bold faced lie and whether no hot water for 66+ days is also not a violation of AZ law as attorney Clark wrote.

This is the follow-up email that I sent to the building. I've then included the email response from THE PIEDMONT ACKNOWLEDGING THE HOT WATER ISSUE MONTHS AFTER MY SON'S MOVE-IN.

Gmail <xxxxxxx@gmail.com>

Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 3:43 PM

to ;Piedmont

There have been complaints about a bit of trash in the hallways????  You guys have some f-ing nerve to send ME that email.  My son xxxxxx Kessler has been living in your trash filled building for basically 2 months WITH NO HOT WATER.   If this isn’t 100 percent fixed by month end you can expect no rent payments until it’s done.  The fact that you’ve charged him full rent and not solved this in 6 or 7 weeks is inexcusable.  Try going home until Labor Day weekend with your hot water shut off.  Try doing your dishes, your whites in laundry, taking a shower that is like one from a prison movie and then email me about your other complaints. 

Stephen Kessler
6001

;Piedmont <piedmont@mark-taylor.com>

Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 6:27 PM

to me

Hi Stephen, 

 

I completely understand your frustration and again we really do apologize for it taking so long to get fixed. Hopefully this does not happen again. Hope you enjoy your weekend as well. 

 

Best, 

Jess Nelson

Leasing Team​ | 
The Piedmont in Tempe

707 East 6th Street | Tempe, AZ 85281

480.219.9796  

piedmont@mark-taylor.com

 I am also including an email generated by The Piedmont's maintenance staff, confirming the date that they were STILL ADDRESSING THE HOT WATER ISSUE THAT BEGAN IN MID-MAY. NOTICE THAT THE LAST REQUEST IS DATED JULY 9, 2022 AND NOTES "5TH TIME ITS HAPPENED" SINCE ANOTHER EMAIL WAS WRITTEN AND ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE BUILDING ON JULY 15, 2022 CLEARLY THE JULY 9TH VISIT DID NOT FIX THE SITUATION.

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