Broken verbal agreement by apartment management

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My parents are moving into an apartment in Los Angeles. When they put down the deposit, they were told by the manager, who no longer works for them, a working refrigerator will be provided. The move-in date was set to tomorrow, which is on a Saturday, so the new manager asked them to come down today to pay the rent and pick up the keys, which was fine. 

 

The rent was paid in full, and my mom asked if she could go in today to clean the fridge. The manager first said they cleaned it, so there’s no need. When my mom insisted, the manager then confessed there’s NOT A WORKING FRIDGE YET. She said they will try to fix it "soon". If it doesn’t work, they would have to wait until someone else in the complex moves out and get theirs… which could be months, but said not to worry, since they probably could get the old fridge to work. 

 

My parents can’t just move in without a fridge or at least knowing they will get one for sure soon, so they wanted to be assured of one, in unlikely case the old one cannot be fixed. She said no. They asked if the move-in date can be adjusted until the fridge is fixed. She said no. They asked if the rent can be lowered for like 20 bucks to be compensated for providing their own fridge. Again, no. My parents are willing to be flexible, but the management was firm, since they had already signed the contract and paid the rent before knowing this issue.

 

My parents called me to talk to the manager on the phone, since English is not their (or my) first language. The manager told me there’s nothing she can do, as her boss is firm on making the old one work. She also told me they do not have the means to contact the old manager (before I heard that the new manager called the former manager and confirmed they were assured of a fridge in front of my parents). After few minutes of talking, which went nowhere, she pretended the phone connection was breaking up and put my parents back on the line. 

 

My parents told me they’d just move in, since they don’t like to put the manager in a hard position (and there’s nothing they can do since they signed the contract already). A fridge is essential and was promised, but it’s not a huge issue. I’m just really afraid something worse might happen, judging from this incident/attitude even before moving in. Since I am away for school and cannot be there to vouch for them, and I know nothing about renting apartments, I’m wondering if anyone has ANY advice on how to go about this situation.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Edited on: Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 10:18 am

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