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Worst Apartment Stories (excluding booting)

All this talk about bad apartment managers seems to have hit a nerve. What is your worst apartment management stories (booting excluded-see other posts). I would be generally interested in assembling a compilation of bad experiences in the hope that the market will reward those complexes who make an effort actually treat students with respect.

In your stories, make sure you include the complex’s name and the name of the management company where applicable. I look forward to some good entertainment from these posts.

To kick it off, here is mine:

I lived for a spring/summer in King Henry. King Henry management had a pattern of failing and charging people who were not present at cleaning checks to perform little tasks. Since I was on campus all day, I could not be there for the cleaning check.

My roommate and some of the other people in the ward developed a strategy of not doing anything at all until the inspectors arrived. While the inspector was standing there, my roommate and others would promptly only clean the items deemed dirty. They would only have to frantically work for the 5 minutes that the inspector in the apartment. The strategy proved very effective.

One time, the inspectors told us that it was our responsibility to buy batteries for the smoke detector.

I was so upset at getting repeatedly nickeled-and-dimed in this manner that I did not sign a fall/winter contract and sought greener pastures elsewhere. Needless to say, King Henry had a similar policy on security deposits.

see link

Having been an apartment manager, I could tell you some pretty good horror stories about tenants who are absolutely irresponsible slobs. But don't kid yourself for one minute: the owners are the ones getting rich for the lame fees.

Bad apartment stories

I worked for auxiliary maintenance for BYU for a while. Part of that included doing on-campus housing maintenance. A couple years later, I did the same thing for Fix-it Maintenance and Repair, an apartment-maintenance company. And now, I rent out apartments I own. Here's my favorite from each:

@ BYU, I have a few favorites.
#1 has to be the RA in Deseret Towers who called and complained that his air conditioning wasn't working. I hop in the truck, drive over there, and take the elevator up. When he opened his door, words alone cannot describe the grossness that befell my eyes.
The cause of his AC not working was immediately apparent: every inch of carpet, including the vent, was covered in dirty laundry. The rank odor of days-old pizza and BO wafted through to greet me. I had to dodge a variety of pizza boxes and fast-food bags to make my way to the middle of the room.
To make things better for us, his solution to the AC problem had just been to leave his refrigerator door open, which ahd soured all the leftovers he'd put in there.
We promptly kick him out, and while rifling through the clothes to get at the vent, we find a variety of women's lingerie. Apparently our slobbish RA was, uh, a bit fetishistic. We told the Honor Code Office (the only time I did that, by the way; if it was an off-campus apartment I couldn't have cared less), and tacked on a couple hundred extra dollars to his already-hefty maintenance bill for our version of punitive damages for the emotional scarring he gave us.

#2) The girls who never cleaned their microwave and started a grease fire. A close runner-up is an incident we had in Foreign Language Student Housing where a guy put a number ten tin can of beans in the microwave and detonated it (along with the microwave). He claimed that he didn't know how to use a microwave properly.

Things didn't get any better when I started doing off-campus maintenance. We had one guy flood his whole apartment after he clogged the toilet because he didn't know how to turn the valve off. Another absent-mindedly left the stove on and gave a couple of his roommates monoxide poisoning (we had to replace the stove with a safer model after that). And on and on it goes.

On the receiving end, I've had some landlords do some ridiculous things. One moved me twice within the same complex after I'd signed a contract. According to BYU housing rules, I get $40 per time that I'm moved during a contract period. So I made $80 off of her for moving my things a couple of times.

Another landlord freaked out about me having guns in the apartment, even though my job required it at the time. I showed her the relevant parts of the housing contract that said I could keep them there, and she relented.

If you're renting, try to find an apartment that's managed by the owner. They're much more likely to want to establish a rapport with you, and not nickel-and-dime you, than a management agency.
If you screw up, man up to it. Like if you roll your muddy bike on the carpet, offer to pay for the carpet cleaning. Or if you puke on a couch.
On the other hand, if you're getting nickel-and-dimed, ask for proof of the fees. If they said you cleaned or you broke something, ask for time cards or photographic evidence. This is something I write into my contracts to give my tenants peace of mind-- that I'll document any charge taken out of their deposit.
And, if your management agency nickel-and-dimes everyone, unjustly, document your side and take it to small claims. One guy losing 100 bucks may not be worth it, but if you have five roommates, that's half a grand, and that's got to be worth somebody's time.

favorite rip of charge

My favorite rip of charge is the "move out fee" or "carpet cleaning fee" or maybe it's named something else in your contract. You know the one, it's when they mandate that you'll never get your full deposit back (even though thats somewhat the point of the deposit). You get tagged $25 a semester to cover carpet cleaning or something. Or when you move out you have to pay $20-50 to cover new tennant finding, or maids to come in. Yet you leave the apartment spotless, and way better than how you found it.

The roomates who stay around for the next year tell you that no cleaners ever came in to "clean the oven" or "clean the carpet" or whatever the managers said they would do.

Isn't this paying for services never received? I agree with what RC said, that if you trash the place, you should pay for it. But when you didn't, and still get tagged by management - something just isn't right!

Private landlords can be easier to work with

I recommend finding a private landlord from who to rent. Additionally, find one that manages it themselves and lives locally. Never rent from an out-of-state property manager.

Otherwise I can personally recommend Aspen Ridge Management.

glenhaven apartment owner

I used to live at Glenhaven 2 years ago. I can't recommend this small complex to anyone. The ward was great, and at that time had good tenants...the owner however was a pretty greedy guy.
I had to change a tire once due to a flat; I left the tire behind the dumpster (still on its rim). This all happened the last week of school. I moved out and came back a week later to get the tire. It was gone! I went to the management office and they informed me that I was being charged a $50 fee for leaving it there! I sent them an invoice for $100 to cover the tire they stole. Anyway, I never paid their $50, but they also never paid me $100.

The problems with Parkway Crossing

Back in 2003 my buddies and I were the first tennents to put our money down for Parkway Crossing, that monstrosity that sits across I-15 from UVSC. We were promised a lot of things. Tons of stores, eventually 6000 fellow students, and a high-speed gondola that would take us to campus. What we found instead was complex that hadn't figured out basic things like internet, cable, telephones....we even had to go to the office each day to get our mail for the first month or so. Deadlines for things came and went, and all the while the complex was crawling with security guards and booters. After three months we put our contracts up for sale and we never looked back.

Since then I have heard plenty of horror stories, and many students are choosing to live elsewhere. I don't think there is a single shop still in business there. It is like a Ghost Town.

Recently the new developers (the old ones left shortly after breaking their promise to pay for naming rights to UVSC's baseball facility) have successfully petitioned Orem City so that they can build married student housing, in the form of individually owned condos, on the property. You can read about it here

There's a Wendy's at Parkway

There's a Wendy's at Parkway Crossing.
You're right, though, it is a ghost town. My office is right across Geneva from it, and I doubt I've ever seen the parking lot more than a quarter full.

why are stupid people breeding?

Good insight RC. There certainly can be two sides to a story. Sometimes it really is a poor manager or management company pulling shady moves and ripping of tenants every chance they can get. But sometimes it's overly stupid tenants taking no responsibility. We've all had the roomate(s) that are not the sharpest tools in the shed, and you wonder how they ever got into college (or will even graduate). They may get good grades, but would be lucky to make it home from school alive every day as they don't look both ways and walk in front of traffic (you know the type).

One popular music artist asked this question in their lyrics: "Why are stupid people breeding?"

This is illegal

And it happens all the time. We discussed these issues with an attorney (quite thoroughly) and what it comes down to is that these types of fees are called "hidden rent" and not tolerated by courts. A deposit is a deposit, not an extra sum to withdraw from on a monthly/semester/annual basis for things like carpet cleaning. Having the carpet cleaned every year or so is due to normal wear and tear. You can't be held responsible for that. That's not to relieve you of responsibility for dragging your muddy bike into the living room. You'd all be well off to document your arrival AND departure, so that when the fees come (and they will) you have a stronger case against your management. I've been on both sides of this, and a punitive owner/manager will charge ridiculous fees "just because" they are mad about something. That is clearly unjustified.

Document, document, document. Take ten minutes before you move in and ten minutes as you check out. A digital camera does wonders. And you'll have a slam dunk case when you confront the owners/managers, but even if they still try and screw you, take it to small claims.

/College landlords, a small step above booters.


It took a whole week to go and get the tire? Looking at it from their end, I would have figured you left it there permanently too...