I lived in a Deerwood 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment for 2 years from 9/11 - 9/13. - Rent: One word: Overpriced. 1st of all, a 900 sq. ft. apartment for $1,700 is criminal. Expect your rent to increase AT LEAST 5% OR HIGHER at your renewal. Equity Residential bets tenants won't want to deal with moving after their 1st year so they jack up the rent. They will tell you the increase is due to "occupancy rates" (which according to Equity means the more people living there = higher rent) & to "improve the facilities and exteriors of the property." In 2 years, there were ZERO enhancements to the property. Also, there's NO NEGOTIATION on your rent increase. When my rent was increased to 6% after my 1st year, I spoke with the Deerwood Manager about negotiating my rent and I was told to speak to Equity's Regional Director. After multiple calls to the Director, I got a call back 1 DAY before my lease renewal expiration date only to be told that the rate would not change and the increase would go to improving the facilities. I also did not get a deadline extension despite the Director's poor response time. With less than 24 hours to make a decision on whether to move out or take on the high month-to-month rent, I reluctantly agreed to stay on for 1 more year because it made sense financially & I didn't have enough time to research other properties. At my lease renewal for year 3, Deerwood INCREASED my rent by ANOTHER 6%. 12% IN 2 YEARS! They claimed the increase was due to "occupancy rates" which was funny because there were less people living there at my 2nd year renewal than during my 1st year. My friends who are still living there or have moved out had similar experiences with their rent increases. - Fitness Facility: The equipment is NEVER maintained. The Treadmills are literally falling apart to the point where someone can seriously get hurt. The treads are loose and the lower frames of the treadmills fall off while in use! In addition, the treadmill touch pads can be found ripped off at times. Also, there are never any paper towels in the dispenser to wipe off sweat. Unsupervised kids can be found in there watching TV or playing around on the machines. Headphone jacks never worked properly or were broken, the cable TV on the machines never came in clearly and sometimes cables went missing. Every time I stepped into the fitness facility, something was broken. Despite multiple tickets and calling the Manager about the issues, they were never fixed. I was told that there "wasn't money in the budget" to buy new equipment and a maintenance guy could fix the issues. I found it interesting that my already overpriced rent with a 6% increase couldn't help to buy new fitness equipment. - Staff: Deerwood has a revolving door of staff members with no customer service skills. In my 2 years there, there were 4 managers and 100s of office staff members. Office staff don't help tenants or address issues. They are more interested in touring prospective tenants & bringing in $. In my opinion, all of the staff must be trained to deflect issues to other people. - Tenants: Kids play, ride bikes, you name it in the streets, around parked cars, EVERYWHERE! It's absolutely insane. Despite reporting issues to the office staff, nothing was ever addressed. A kid is going to get killed there one day. Tenants don't pick up after their dogs. I reported this issue several times to the office staff and nothing was ever done. Teenagers are always loitering. It's common to drive into the complex and see a bunch of teenagers by the basketball court, benches, etc. They are very disruptive. They leave trash on the ground, mess with parked cars and no one ever tells them to stop because the office staff leaves at 6pm and security doesn't exist. - Security: The office supposedly hires a security guy to drive through the property at night time, but I never saw him or his car. And if you are locked out of your property after office hours, you're screwed. My wife lost her key once and when she talked to the on call security officer, he told her that he deals with security and not with helping her get into her apartment and no one was available to help her. WTF? There's no way to contact office staff after hours either. I never knew that was possible at an apartment complex! - Apartments: There's ZERO storage space within the apartments (only two closets!). Deerwood forces you to pay an extra $75/month to use their storage closets on the ground floor. There are free storage cabinets in the covered parking spot areas, but those are on a first come, first serve basis and it's straight up WAR with those cabinets. Moral of the story: Don't live at Deerwood or at any Equity Residential place. You and your wallet will be better off somewhere else. There are many great places in Rancho Bernardo to live. Deerwood is not one of them.
Deerwood Apartments Manager12/18/2013
Thank you for sharing your feedback. The team and I at Deerwood do take the time to read every review, and use the information to grow, make changes, and improve our community for everyone. Unfortunately, many of the issues you describe were from before I became property manager. Please know that I'm working to make improvements in all areas of the community. I have ensured that the gym equipment is working properly, and have signed a preventative maintenance contract to have the equipment opened up every quarter. We purchase gym wipes, and are always full. The gym is cleaned every day and it gets a detailed clean two times per week from a vendor. Additionally, I have assigned every apartment a storage cabinet which is located conveniently near their assigned parking space. We pick up pet waste on a daily basis, and I have increased the pet stations and added signage to remind residents to pick up after their pets. We do have a courtesy patrol service, and I have added additional visits throughout the day. We have an emergency on-call number where tenants can get a hold of maintenance 24 hours per day for emergencies. As for your concern about pricing, we do adjust rates to best reflect the current market value for the types of apartments available. These rates can fluctuate daily, and we do our best to communicate rate changes to residents during the renewal process. We would be happy to discuss your concerns with you in person. Simply drop by the office, or contact me at [email protected] or at (858) 672-0707. Thank you.