I moved in June 2011 and was very happy to find a place because my dog does not fit the normal apt 25 pound weight limit and this place easily accepted her, granted I paid a monthly fee. From there the happiness ended. The apartment management company as of June was still Morgan Properties and they required our initial deposit check to be paid in the form of a certified bank check. I receive a letter (TAPED TO MY DOOR) from the property manager that there was an issue with my check and I had 24 hours to resolve it. Of course I panicked and went right to my bank.
The 'issue' is that Morgan Properties did not endorse the back of the check, so it was returned by the bank. Morgan Properties then forwarded the check, un-deposited, to their corporate offices which it was never to be seen again. Unfortunately because it is a certified bank check, it is almost as good as cash and you cannot just cancel the check. The money also left my checking account as soon as the check was issued, and is moved to a holding account with the bank. I kept in constant contact with Morgan Properties, who were generally unresponsive in helping me resolve the issue. Their only response was that they were trying to track down the check.
Then, the worst case scenario happened in that Morgan Properties was sold to Candlebrook Properties.
I knew this issue would just escalate and be the worst headache ever. I received my first statement from Candlebrook and walked right over to the office to explain why their is a large outstanding balance, and why I do not owe it. They did not understand why the bank check could not just be cancelled & re-issued. In working with my bank, I was informed that to be able to re-issue the check, I would have to purchase a bond against the original check for the full amount, in case it was cashed as well as the new check being cashed. The bank then offered a resolution that the checks have expiration dates on them and that mine would be expiring in September. Once the check expired I would be able to get my money back into my checking account from the holding account and re-issue Candlebrook a check.
A rep at Candlebrook seemed very responsive and interested in the matter. I told them that waiting a few weeks to re-issue the check is the best resolution and they agreed. She said she would put a note in the system of why there was a balance and that she would try(?) to clear the late fee's that came as a result of this issue. I figured to deal with those late fee's I don't owe at another time when the larger issue was cleared.
The time comes that the check expires, and I go directly to the bank and re-issue a check and walk it over to the Mgmt Office. A new office manager is there and I try to re-explain the issue to her as I am handing in the check and she doesn't seem the slightest bit interested. She takes the money, and writes me a poor excuse for a receipt on a post-it note and that's it.
I felt like the situation would be resolved at this point but I was so wrong!
One week later I come home and am mailed a letter from the Superior Court of NJ, Civil Division that Candlebrook is suing us! Not for the deposit issue, but for not paying our September rent?! I have never even been late on a payment, I keep every piece of paperwork that payments are made and cleared. This has to be from the deposit issue and they just misapplied funds. They never ever once tried to contact me about any issue besides for the monthly statements. No calls, no letters, no one coming to our door - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I was 100% pro-active in giving them every piece of information on the matter and that it was NOT our fault. A few days later they must have realized our account balances were more in line and we received a letter from their attorney requesting dismissal of the court date. As relieving as that was, I was only brought to be furious again when Candlebrook taped to our front door the original court document stating we were being sued. We share a front door! How embarrassing for us that our neighbors could possibly think we're deadbeats!
I called the courts & confirmed the case was dismissed but I will never ever re-new my lease here and I will do anything in my power to prevent anyone from giving this company a dime. I have still never received any communication from this company apologizing or anything!
On top of this, I've called the company many times for maintenance - not being pests but during a heavy storm our front window had water pouring in from 5 spots like it was pouring out of a hose. Then word of Hurricane Irene coming and we really began calling a lot about having it fixed and of course their response was 'this is the first time your reporting this?!' After all that, no one has showed and this is 2 months later. They also leave notes on your door that people are coming in for inspections on certain days and no one ever shows. I would not be surprised to find the inspections are fraudulently signed off of.
All this and I've lived here 4 & 1/2 months!