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Story Time: Nightmare Apartment

Story Time: Nightmare Apartment

Now I am sure so many people have horror stories of the apartment complexes they have lived in or even just houses, condos, and horror landlords. As I have talked about before I love sharing my experiences so people can avoid making the same mistakes I made. And for those who have experienced it also know they are not alone. When it comes to my horror apartment complex it definitely could have been worse, but some of the things will still shock you when it comes to this place and you’ll see why I warn you about some things. 

I spoke about it briefly I started apartment searching while I was on vacation over 1,000 miles away from where I was supposed to be moving to. I started my search on apps, and I even had my laptop and was able to search for some more locations online. However, all I did was look at the pretty pictures and reach out o set up a tour for a few days after I got back. I did not look at every website, I did not look at what other people had said, nor I did not do a deep dive into their websites. I was a 22-year-old fresh out of college excited she nailed a job with good pay (so I thought) and was able to live on my own states away from my parents. I was so excited I felt like I had it all figured out. 

When I started touring; I viewed a lot of complexes all on my own. I think I had gone up for a weekend and had over 10 apartments to view in less than 24 hours. My horror complex was in a good area of town settled in a neighborhood. It just looked like a typical dead-end street. The exterior was so bleak and not that exciting, but it looked well kept and well maintained. Plus it was a place that I could live and afford all by myself. When I did the meeting they had no information that they could give me to take away, I did not take any notes. When it came time to view what was available; I was not allowed to tour the complex only their model units. Both were decorated with high-end furniture, air conditioning blasting, tons of light, and it was in pristine condition. The dining table was set just like a magazine, they had floating shelves, an electric fireplace, and everything matched. It was as if a professional photographer was coming right after me to take pictures for architectural digest with how well it was decorated. And my degrees in Interior Design so it takes a lot to impress me with how things are decorated. My mind went full speed ahead with all the possibilities. I rushed back downstairs filled out an application and handed in my $100 holding deposit if I was accepted. I never stepped foot in an actual unit; just the model homes. As I left to go continue my tour they asked where I was going to tour next; to which they puled out a binder full of past news articles of incidents. I am talking about stabbings, robberies, shootings, and more that had happened at or near these complexes. At the time I thought it was so helpful; did I check the dates nope! Did I not realize this was a pressure tactic at the time nope! I was young, dumb, and just excited about my future.  

Three days after the tour I had gotten a call saying I had been accepted and was able to move in; within the net five days. On the day of the move in I had gone to the leasing office to sign the papers, hand over the security deposit, and get my keys. All they did was hand me a piece of paper with where my apartment was and told me good luck and welcome. No one walked me or showed me where it was, explained the complex rules, or even how many of the security worked. Luckily my parents were with me and able to help me through all of this. When I got to my apartment it was on the top floor; it was clear no one had lived there for a bit. It was musty smelling, and the room was unbearably humid and hot. Even after an hour of the AC blasting it still was not helping. Over time I quickly learned the many red flags of my apartment complex. 

  • The key to used to get into my apartment was the same key that opened the “security” front door. Which meat if you could get into the front door you could get into anyone’s apartment in the building. 
  • The “security” front door was a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall glass door. All you needed was a brick and not one was safe. (over my time there it was broken two times)
  • Besides the security door; they had no other security system in place. No late-night staff, no cameras, and definitely no “sign-in” spot. 
    • Telemarketers, door knockers, and scammers constantly broke in
  • They had no secure package center; so often packages would get stolen. 
  • The only lights were in the bathroom and the kitchen.
    • Had to buy lamps to light any room 
  • I had no counter space so I had to do my prep on my kitchen table and eventually had to buy a butcher block chart to help when I had guests over.
  • The AC was located 4” off the floor under a window and only in the Living Room. The bedrooms averaged about 80 degrees in the summer I had to buy fans and AC units to stay cool. 
  • My AC unit broke only to discover the complex never cared for them. They had mold, dirt, and other debris from outside. (the part that stuck out to the world was never covered in the winter/non-usable months)
    • When I found out it had black mold they tried to fight me on it and say “it wasn’t black mold” yet when they came to “replace” the machine wore a hazmat suit…
  • The AC units were also from the early 1990s
  • In the winter they never salted the walkways and often never left out ice so you could salt yourself. I slipped one morning down 3 stairs and spilled hot coffee all over me. I was pissed. 
  • If you wanted to use the heat it would only work if you turned it up to 75 as a pre-setting they had installed. 
  • Since everything was a flat roof; if you left your window open during rainstorms water always got in and on everything in the room. 
  • If I brought a guest with me to the pool I was billed $10 per guest. 
  • Also at the pool, if I wanted to go swimming I had to shower first in the outdoor shower before going in. Each and every time. 
  • The way we got informed about maintenance was coming was a taped piece of paper to the security door. 
    • If you were away you were fucked. And yes that happened to me. I left for vacation Friday morning came back Thursday night to discover that my front door had been painted, and my apartment was left unlocked and unattended for days. 
  • All rent had to be hand-delivered by check…and they often would wait 20+ days to cash it. 
    • They had no late fee which was great. However; if your check bounced they would fine you an additional $25 and you had to get a bank check.
  • In the winter there was no plowing schedule; but if your car was not moved they would put an orange violation sticker on your car. 
    • Often this would be put on your back windshield; so super dangerous. 
  • The plow would plow/shovel snow into open parking spots. Which meant there was already a limited number of spots in an already limited parking area. 
    • And if you parked “illegally” or in a spot, they deemed no parking you would wake up to a nice orange sticker. 
  • Anytime they hired out of complex help (painters, construction, etc.) They all showed up in personal unmarked vehicles. They would let them in and leave them for the day. To this day I still do not know what company or if any of them worked for a company. 
  • The Gym and Sauna that was included could only be accessed during “office hours” and office hours were 10 am till 6 Pm. So if you had a job you couldn’t use the gym 
    • Oh, and you had to go through the office to use them. 
  • There was no notification system. So if personnel changed or the office was closed due to weather you had no idea. 
    • They also never told you when they had personnel changes 
  • They had no recycling it was all just dumpsters. Everything went into the dumpster…
    • Recycling is not that hard, save the planet. 
  • Communal laundry (nothing wrong with that) but it used a specific card. The card reload station was out in the middle of the complex in a Booth. If the person before you did not close the booth window and water got in; it would damage the machine and you would have to wait till it was fixed to reload the card. 
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Trust me I am well aware people have it way worse than I did. But the whole reason I did this series was to so no one repeats my mistakes and is able to find an apartment that they not only love; but also can feel safe and that they are home. You know the opposite of what I felt when I lived there. Finding an apartment may not be as big as buying a house but it is still a ton of money and a chunk of your life. I learned my lessons on this the hard way and know I did not repeat them with my new place. So stand tall, take charge, and don’t let the excitement of the future throw you off guard during the process. If you have any questions just your Unofficial big sis. -KMH

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