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The Classic at the Preserve

When we first arrived in Minnesota, we rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment at The Classic at the Preserve in Woodbury.

I had seen this complex online and had spoken to one of the leasing agents, Jennie, prior to moving here. When we arrived at the complex, Jennie was expecting us. She showed us a 1 bedroom apartment with a den. The den was tiny. She then showed us two other apartments. The one we chose was a corner first floor unit. The previous renter left the place a mess but Jennie assured us that we could move in by Monday (it was Thursday). Jennie arranged for CORT furniture to deliver our rental things and we signed a 2 1/2 month lease since we were looking for a house to buy. Jennie assured us that if we let her know by the 15th of the month whether we needed to rent for the following month then everything would be fine and we could go month-to-month (more on this later).

Note: The rental furniture fee is paid to the apartment complex not to CORT which we found interesting.

When I arrived Monday morning, the rental company was still there putting things away. The cleaning woman was also there with a young child who was about 5 years of age. The child kept trying to engage the CORT employee in conversation but the employee kept working. The mother of the child kept trying to pull the child away from the CORT employee.

I left, came back in 2 hours and everything was ready. I had been given an inspection checklist which I promptly started to fill out. The bathroom and kitchen counters were dirty, the carpet had stains throughout although it had been cleaned – little things not done here and there made it onto my inspection form.

When I went to the office to hand in the form they were shocked at what I had noted. I explained that I thought the cleaning woman was more preoccupied with her child than cleaning.

The CORT furniture people had done a great job. We had 4 of everything – 4 towels, 4 of each piece of silverware, etc. They did forget to bring us a sleeper sofa for the extra bedroom. I called and spoke with Jennie and she told me that it would be delivered the following day. Two days later it appeared.

During our stay we had the following problems:

  • Snow removal (it was November) – the complex had a hard time keeping up with snow removal during our entire stay.
  • The washing machine broke down twice. The second time we were brought one that worked but it was smelly.
  • They only had one maintenance person – the other person was in training and the full-time employee was the ONLY one for 4 buildings and whatever other buildings the owner called him to
  • Bedbugs. This was confirmed by a caretaker AND the woman who lived above our apartment who had them.
  • Our trash compactor backed up and when they sent someone to fix it, he removed it and everything spilt all over the kitchen floor. Unprepared, he used my towels to clean it up.
  • The hallways, although vacuumed almost every day in the winter, were filthy. The front office sent out a letter to tenants advising us that we should not have welcome mats out. For us, no problem as we had vinyl in our foyer but most people had carpeting
  • The indoor heated parking garage – cars were frequently broken into with windows smashed in
  • The complex is not kept clean

In March 2011, we received a call from Dorothy from the complexes “headquarters.” She stated “You received a letter letting you know you owe money.” I immediately informed her that we had paid all of our rent/leasing every month and no letter was received. Dorothy explained that we should have paid two delivery charges for the CORT furniture AND that they are under-charging us $80 a month for the rental furniture. They wanted that money.

I advised Dorothy to check the copy of the lease as it does not show we owe for delivery of the furniture and that we are paying the amount we were quoted for rent and the rental. Dorothy argues with me and tells me that they will send someone over to remove some of the belongings since we aren’t paying the full amount.

“If you send someone out that would be trespassing and in violation of the lease that you signed with us” I tell Dorothy. I refer her back to the lease (which she hasn’t read) and she hangs up.

April 7th – someone puts a key in our door to enter. Luckily I had the chain latch attached. I open the door and a woman is standing there. She says “I’m here to inspect the apartment.” When I ask what she’s inspecting for she says “Oh, do you live here?” I told her yes and she replies “I must be in the wrong apartment, I wanted the apartment upstairs.” She left and I called the office immediately concerned that the woman hadn’t even knocked before entering. The office explains that she is only supposed to be inspecting empty apartments and they apologize. Interesting … because the person who lives above me, I had found out earlier, is a new employee for the complex (she cleans vacant apartments). I had spoken with her and she had not mentioned moving.

Later that day, my husband calls to inform me that our apartment has been rented and we need to move by the end of the month. I call the office and was informed that we had given notice to vacate. I explained that we had but that Jennie had told us we had until the 15th of each month to renew. The woman didn’t apologize but said we had to be out. I spoke with her manager and she told us the same thing. When I asked if they were going to evict us if we didn’t move the manager said yes.

Get verbal agreements in writing, I reminded myself.

A week later I called to arrange a date for our move-out inspection. The leasing agent answering the phone sounded surprised that we were moving. “No – we want you to stay.” I explained to her that we were told we HAD to be out as the apartment was rented. I heard her yell to Jennie “Their apartment isn’t rented, is it?” Jennie said no and the woman came back and said “you can stay if you want.” I told her we were going to move as we didn’t like the treatment we were receiving now.

Coincidence? We get a call saying they are undercharging us for the CORT rental furniture and now the apartment is rented out from under us.

Fortunately, the house we purchased closed on April 29th – the same day we had to leave the apartment.

The Classic at the Preserve, dirty hallway

The Classic at the Preserve, rusted-out deck rails

The Classic at the Preserve, Dirty hall vents

This complex has a lot of issues that start in the management office. We would not rent here again.

 

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