Overlook At Magnolia Apartments
k2msl11 • Resident • 2009 - 2011 Not Recommended
My family I moved into the Overlook in June 2009. I had lived in the complex under different management in 2007, and enjoyed the experience. We were given a half-month's rent free on a spacious 2 bedroom/1.5 bathroom unit on the 1st floor above ground level. They had us sign an addenda ridden lease which I learned later that potential residents should be very skeptical of. The experience of living at the Overlook declined considerably from 2007-2009. This continues to date. When we moved in, we found drainage spit up in our bathtub, trim falling off of the walls & a few holes in our walls which weren't there during our walk through a few days prior. We were told there was a policy against large dogs (enforced during my previous stay), but noticed Malamutes, Pit-bulls, and St. Bernards living at the complex. We love dogs & have no problem with these breeds, but the Overlook does a poor job cleaning their considerable waste and won't actively enforce a scoop rule. It was common to find dog urine in the elevator, or feces in the lobby (which sometimes lingered days, a health hazard). The buildings are old, inefficient, & have old, drafty, moldy, single-pane windows. I hadn't previously lived in the complex during the winter, but noticed in 2009 just how expensive electric bills could get. We paid near $200/month in the peak winter months to heat the place. The Overlook also charges for water, sewer, and garbage. We could hear & feel about every move from the tenant above us, especially the balcony sliding door. We re-signed in 2010, mainly because we didn't want to move our toddler twice in two years & had a nanny in the complex. Plus, we had free parking and used the weight room, sauna, and hot tub at times despite dated equipment & poor maintenance. Over the course of 2010-2011, the dog waste became more prevalent and cleanup less frequent, there was a month-long dig in our hallway to fix pipes, and we noticed holes in the walls appearing along with peeling layers of paint in our building's hallways. These and the aforementioned problems could've been offset with good customer service, but it is in this area that the Overlook seems to be deteriorating the most rapidly. When our water heater exploded, the management did get specialists to replace it the same day and get our furniture on blocks to avert bigger problems, but the aftermath to this incident was a fiasco. They brought vortex fans in to the apartment the next day, the electricity for which we mostly paid for out-of-pocket. They gave us a credit, which covered less than half of the electrical costs. In May of this year, the Overlook increased rent from $1180-$1220. This was a month after laundry rate increases, and two months after the water heater explosion. I called the head manager at the front office, hoping that she'd compromise with us, given our experiences, that we always paid on time, and had always respected the apartment and grounds. She didn't return my calls on the Friday before the Overlook's deadline for declaring intent to vacate, meaning we weren't sure on the final weekend to look for new apartments, whether the Overlook would be flexible (luckily we assumed that they wouldn't). The next Monday, I was able to get in touch with her and was offered a smaller unit at $1180, but then informed that they were going to charge us $50/month for the parking space we had been given free the previous year (parking in the area is a hassle after 6 PM and on weekends). Collectively, this was a big cost of living increase. She claimed that these changes were necessary to 'keep up with rents in the area,' which I might have gone for, if they took better care of the complex. Consequently; however, we decided to move, and found nearby, a larger apartment, for $120/month less, with a better view, in unit laundry, and one that did not charge for water, sewer, & garbage. We got the racket I expected moving out, even though we cleaned thoroughly and left the place in better shape than two years reasonable wear and tear. After move out, we got a bill for $200 in excess of our deposits (never in any of my other six rentals have I ever seen a bill after move out). We were charged for the blinds and paint, both of which were in great condition, as well as a $275 carpet cleaning bill they justified because of our old cat, even though we paid $300 in pet fees at move-in. Despite the fact that I have evidence to dispute most of the charges, it's not worth our time to go to claims court. In other words, beware of the ultra-thick lease. They imply (if not state explicitly) when you're signing the lease, that the addenda are for things out of necessity, and in excess of reasonable wear-and-tear, but then have a laundry list of possible charges to basically give them free reign to charge whatever amount they want, as long as it's not so excessive that it warrants small claims court.
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