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Windsor Ridge Apartments

 
 
 
 
 
 

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asiatik129 • Resident 2006 - 2007 Not Recommended
Reviewed 02/23/2007
Living in this place is not so bad, until you move out. It's conveniently located in Sunnyvale and is pet friendly. The grounds are fairly maintained and the neighbors are nice. I had a good time living here.<br><br>Now, when I moved out I did what any renter would do. Get the pre move-out inspection and have one of the managers tell you what you need to fix, before the final inspection. <br><br>The manager walked through my apartment and told me to do touch-ups for slight scuffs on the wall, to make sure to clean the blinds, and to clean underneath appliances (like fridges and stoves). I noted all her suggestions and followed everything and then some.<br><br>I would consider myself a clean freak. In fact, before I moved into this apartment, I cleaned everything myself, because I didn't trust the cleaning job that the landlords did. Everything was acceptably clean, but I decided that I would use my own cleaners and clean the bathrooms just in case. I also took my own vacuum and cleaned all the carpets.<br><br>In the pre move-in inspection, I noted every single existing mark I saw. From light black spots on the carpets, to a missing exterior outlet cover (that is a violation of the building code) I made sure the staff noted it on my inspection.<br><br>Now, after I moved all my stuff out, I bleached both bathrooms, moved the appliances and mopped underneath them, vacuumed the coils on the back of the fridge, scrubbed the inside of the broiling tray of the oven, wiped each individual blade on the blinds and painted any spots I saw on the walls. Trust me when I say that I left no stone unturned. <br><br>I would say that I cleaned everything in that apartment (less the carpet, because I was told that even if I steam cleaned it myself, that they would clean it again unless I use a specific carpet cleaner they recommended). <br><br>My deposit was $1,000 ($500 security, $500 pet). I got back a little bit more than 1/2 of that. I believe that the amount they took off my deposit was exorbitant and well beyond what was reasonable and justified.<br><br>This is how they broke it down:<br>-$130 Detail Apartment Cleaning (which is what I already did). Bill states that they did <br><br>"full cleaning the kitchen oven stove, refrigerator, sing, floor, dishwasher. The bathroom cleaning floor, bathtub, mirrors, Toilet Sink, the Windows cleaning in and outside everithing dusting. cleaning the blinds too."<br><br>I took that verbatim off the handwritten bill. I guess you can't blame them if they can't write complete sentences or spell "everithing."<br><br>Trust me when I say this, I cleaned that apartment better than any house cleaner can ever clean it. If I knew they were going to charge me $130 to clean it, I would have left it alone and not taken unpaid time off of work to clean this damned place.<br><br>I've rented in college from four different apartment complexes and have had pretty messy roomates and we never ever got docked this much money off of our deposits.<br><br>Anyhow, the carpet cleaning charge was reasonable ($85) for a 2 bedroom apartment. But here's where they get you...<br><br>I put in my pre-inspection report that there were black spots on the carpet at the entryway, dining area, and in one of the bedrooms. But of course, they didn't read that and docked me to do "carpet spot [dyeing]" for $30. I'm going back to dispute that.<br><br>Here's another hidden carpet cleaning charge. "Pet Urine Inspection Charge" $50. Now, my dog (he's only 16 lbs.) never had any accidents in the spots they said they had to "treat." He was always kept in the kitchen (where there is vinyl) behind a baby gate whenever I left the apartment, so he never peed on the rugs. <br><br>So anyways, they picked some spots (seemingly at random) and charged me another $75 to treat the pet urine that didn't even exist. <br><br>Next, was the prorated paint charge. Mind you, even though I touched up every single mark on the wall with matching paint (I got it from the maintenance guy who was nice enough to give me the paint at no charge and a brush at no charge), I still got charged the prorated paint charge of $30.62. I suppose I can live with that, but the stupid thing is that the manager who did my pre inspection said to touch up the walls, so "they wouldn't charge me." But of course that wasn't true, because there's always a prorated paint charge no matter how short a time you lived there. <br><br>But check this out, it took 1 hour at $18.55/hr (less a 5% discount) to do the painting in our apartment. That's $18.55 less $0.93, so that's $17.62. But wow, didn't I tell you that they charged me $30.62? How conveniently they forget how to do arithmetic. Unless there's a $13 surcharge for - I don't know - worker's comp insurance for the painter sniffing too many fumes, I don't know where that $13 came from.<br><br>Lastly, a couple of weeks before I moved out, I put in a work order for a couple of light bulbs that were out and the closet rack had broken. The maintenance guy was out sick and couldn't repair it right away. When he finally came by, he told us not to worry about the bulbs and the closet rack, because he'd "take care of it after we moved out" and that they "wouldn't charge us for that." <br><br>Well, again I was wrong to trust their word. Sure enough, they docked me $14.64 (which supposedly took 0.5 hrs.) to replace 2 60 watt light bulbs and 4 drip pans. <br><br>So to recap my charges:<br>$130 $85 30 50 75 30.62 14.64 = $415.26<br><br>My total deposit (including the pet deposit) was $1,000.<br><br>That's absolutely insane. They can't call that a "deposit." They should call it, "prepaid cleaning fees." <br><br>I will be writing a letter to the BBB, complaining about all the exorbitant charges. I will also write a letter to the Essex Property Trust REIT (owners of this complex). I also will contact apartment management to try and rectify what I think is an unfair assessment of charges.<br><br>You can see how much trouble I've gone through to try and keep my apartment in good condition. I have digital pictures of my apartment after I cleaned everything to prove that it was reasonably clean (I mopped, vacuumed, and scrubbed every inch of that place).<br><br>Hey, if I knew they were gonna charge me to clean the damned place again... I would've just left it alone. <br><br>The newest management is polite and somewhat responsive. As for that maintenance call I scheduled, I stayed home from work one morning, because I scheduled a 10am appointment for maintenance and nobody showed up. I walked up to the office and said, do you know if Arnel is around? The manager replied, "Oh, I'm sorry, but he's out sick today. He had to go to the emergency room." I said, "I've been waiting and nobody told me that he wasn't going to show up." She apologized and said she could page someone with "less experience" to try to fix those things. So two maintenance people come to my apartment and he took out the light bulbs and the anchor for the closet rack. He said he'd try to fix it, but came back a minute later and said, "Is it okay if Arnel does it when he comes back?"<br><br>Anyways, I'm surprised that he couldn't change a light bulb and that he couldn't drill a new hole in the wall and reinstall the anchor (it had pulled out of the sheetrock, so the old hole had to be patched and a new one had to be made).<br><br>I digress... but about 2-3 weeks after I moved out, the manager calls me and asks for my forwarding address (I had written it on a piece of paper in big handwriting and put it in a ziplock bag with all the keys and the garage remote). I gave it to her and asked her, "Oh, do you know how much of our deposit we're getting back?" She then said, "Uh, I don't know... I'm going to mail you the paperwork with all your charges and then the check will follow a week or so later." I was kind of in a rush, so I said, "Okay fine." Then she said, "Give us a call if you have any questions." Well I had one right there and she couldn't look at the paperwork and read the bottom line to me?!? I guess she just wasn't in the mood to ruin my day. <br><br>It got ruined when I opened the letter and saw that almost half of my deposit was gone.<br><br>Let's put it this way. This apartment is an okay place to live, but when you move out... be prepared to pay out the rear. Management is misleading, the pre-move-out inspection is worthless, and the estimated costs for cleaning and so forth mentioned in your lease (because the have to) have no bearing on the actual costs they will charge you.<br><br>They get you once you're out, so I absolutely DO NOT recommend this place to anyone who would be upset with what I went through. Rent was fair $1,675 pet rent of $30. <br><br>Management turnover is very high. I saw at least 3 different management teams in about 8 months. <br><br>Email me if you would like any specifics or if you would like me to elaborate even more. <br><br>Follow-up: I spoke with management regarding the charges taken off my deposit and they were pretty reasonable in trying to make this work out. We came to a fair compromise after a good discussion about the charges. Although, I still thought the apartment cleaning charge should be nil, she went halfway and gave me credit for half of the $130 charge. One thing that still disappointed me was the $75 for pet urine removal. My pet never had any accidents in my 8 months there. I agreed to the $50 inspection charge, but the additional $75 to clean up what was there before I moved in is not fair. She told me to talk to the carpet cleaners, but I decided it wasn't worth my time, because they would not remember each and every apartment they cleaned. <br><br>I guess I have to chalk that up to just a loss. Management was very patient in handling my concerns. I would just be very careful about charges when moving out. If you are the type to work very hard to try to get most of your deposit back, this may not be the place for you.<br><br>If you don't mind them charging you a little more than they should, I would give this place a try. The rent is somewhat cheaper than other apartments in the area, so the loss on your deposit may be made up for in the rent saved during your stay. Obviously, the longer you stay (provided rent doesn't jump significantly once your lease is up) the more money you can save. <br><br>Overall, this place has a good location, friendly neighbors, and fairly well-kept grounds. Management sometimes requires a little more prodding when dealing with maintenance issues, but it never required me more than two (2) tries to get something done.<br><br>Keep an eye for leaky sprinklers on the grounds! I often see a few gushing with water. It's also kind of ridiculous how they water the lawns/plants during rainy season. The residents pay for the water, so it's in your best interests to make sure they save water wherever they can.<br><br>In conclusion, this place was not too bad. I suspect all the complexes in this area are probably in the same league, service-wise.<br><br>Thanks to the current management team for addressing my concerns and calling me back right away.
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