Communication tactics

Posted on Posted in Complaints, Debt collection

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My junior year of college, I moved into a four bedroom apartment at XXXX XXXX in XXXX XXXX to attend school. When moving in, I met one of my roommates and her parents. My mom was also there and spent time talking to her parents. Her dad told my mother about some of the problems they had to deal with last year which included an abusive relationship that developed between this girl and her boyfriend. He said that XXXX had severed all ties with him and he ( the ex ) had no idea where she was living or working at this point. From what her dad told my mother it sounded as if her dad and his friends dealt with the boy and persuaded him that it would be a very bad idea to contact this girl. Her dad did make it clear that he was abusive and that she would not be in contact with the ex-boyfriend because he was bad news. Later in the week, my roommate gave us ( the roommates ) background information on her relationship with this ex. She said that he had been abusive to her and that he was suicidal. She also told us that he showed up at her work and at school last year. Honestly, she was never my favorite roommate. She was very dirty, often leaving dishes coated in food in the sink for days and leaving food out on the counter uncovered for long periods of time. She also had no respect for my roommates and me. She would use our property and not clean it and she would talk loudly on her cell phone out on our porch and in the kitchen at all hours of the night. She was also openly XXXX against XXXX XXXX ; this was an issue I took great offense with because it is not how I was raised. I learned to ignore these qualities ; I understand that in college you dont always get to pick who your roommates are and that you re not always going to get along with them. She was a very irritating person, but I put up with it without complaint ( I did try to talk to her about it but quickly discovered that that approach wasnt going to work. ) I found it best to just ignore the behaviors I didnt care for. However, I went from being annoyed to fearing for my safety. Towards the end of my last semester of my junior year it became very clear that she was talking to her ex again. Over time, the situation became more and more volatile. They were constantly arguing on the phone. This is when I started to fear for my own personal safety but I was not sure what to do. Since she claims he was unstable I didnt know what he was capable of. I know that he had picked her up at XXXX before ; I dont believe he had been in our apartment. However, it wouldnt be very hard to follow her to our apartment because security was minimal at this complex, and for most of the first semester the key pads to get on our floor at XXXX wasnt working, so anyone could get in. There was only one lock on the door of our apartment ; if he wanted to get in, he couldve. I didnt feel protected living there. In late XXXX XXXX , everything boiled over. My roommate got into a fight with her ex because he had called her parents ( I dont know what he said to them ). She was out on our porch screaming profanities at the top of her XXXX so I went out and said that everyone could hear her ( I didnt want the cops called ) . She came back in the apartment a short time later and blew up at me. I asked her why she continued to talk to him and she claimed she did it to protect us from him. She said that if she cut him off she feared that he would come to the apartment and hurt all of us. She also said that I dont seem to mind when the XXXX downstairs are yelling all the time. I told her to never use that word in front of me again and that I have never heard someone downstairs yelling like she was. After this fight, it was very clear to me that I was not safe in that apartment, and that I was not willing to place my personal safety in the hands of someone making very poor choices. I was incredibly uncomfortable and I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. My parents were not happy with the situation and told me that I needed to move immediately. I got in touch with the manager of XXXX and at first she seemed like she was on top of things ; she agreed I needed to be moved and that there would be no additional charges since I was moving under duress .She asked me if I would please write to management and tell them how well she handled the situation, because evidently some people had reported that she was not a very good manager. I asked to be moved into an apartment that hadnt had any problems because I didnt want to be in the same situation a second time. The manager said that the girl who would know that information was out with a cold and wouldnt be there until the next day. When I went to speak with management the next day to follow up on the search for a new apartment, the manager said she had hand-picked this apartment because she completely understood that I need to feel safe in my own home. She said that there might be a slight increase because it was a different layout and in the newer phase. After that she continued to change her stories, it was as if the person I had talked to the day before disappeared and I was talking to her for the first time. She sent me into another employees office to sign the new lease. This is when I was told it would be XXXX plus parking, I was paying XXXX . I said I couldnt afford that so she went to talk to the manager because only the manager can determine prices. She came back and said it would be XXXX . Again, we told her we werent paying any more than we already were. This employee said she would see if she could find something else more in my price range, so I went back to the apartment to wait until I heard news. She called me many hours later and said that was the best apartment available and that it would be XXXX . At this point my mom called the manager to tell her that I needed to move immediately and we would not pay additional money. She kept telling my mother different stories about how I just wanted to move out of my apartment but that I didnt need to move, to how she had worked many hours of overtime to find me the perfect apartment. My mother firmly told her that I was to be moved immediately because of safety and if it was not done I would not be staying in that apartment for another night. After my mother spoke with the manager, I was told I had to go down to the office and speak with her. Everything went downhill from here. She was very rude to me, like I was putting her out. She claims that when she said I wouldnt have to pay anything the day before, I was getting my terminology mixed up and thats not what she meant. I asked her point blank several times whether I would be charged more to live in this new apartment and she refused to answer my question. It was very clear we were not going to get anywhere and lies were piling up so I walked out of the office and told her my mom would call her, she said my mother was not to call her. My mom called me about 5 minutes later and said I needed to go down to the office and get my keys for my new apartment. I was incredibly confused, since I had just walked out of there and the manager was angry with me! She had apparently called my mom as soon as I left the room. The managers behavior can only be described as bazar, she was telling me and my mom multiple different stories within minutes of each other, each story would contradict the one she had just told. After this I went down and got my keys, the manager apologized profusely and blamed other office staff for the mix-up. She never took responsibility for her own actions. I moved into my new apartment, a XXXX with only one occupant, the manager assured me that someone had walked the apartment and that it was even better than the one I had been in and that the occupant in it seemed very nice. I immediately noticed that it had not been cleaned after the old people moved out, there was trash in the room, furniture had been chewed on ( I think the previous resident had a puppy ) and the carpets reeked of urine ( the previous occupant had left multiple air fresheners in the apartment, when I took them out is when I started smelling urine ). I notified the apartment about the carpets and it took over a week for the problem to be fixed. I didnt have a lot of contact with my new roommate but I did find out she wasnt notified I would be moving in. After returning from spring break I started to notice a lot of men coming in and out of the apartment. One man would come in, the apartment would fill with the smell of weed ( I have been to concerts before and smelled pot ), they would cook a whole bunch of food and leave a mess, and then he would leave. Then another guy would come, the apartment fills with the smell of weed again, they would eat, and he would leave. It was like our apartment was a revolving door. I was extremely uncomfortable with this. I stayed locked in my room for most of the day, only coming out when I knew my roommate wasnt there. There were multiple occasions when I was there that the apartment smelled like weed. I dont do drugs and I dont want to be around them. I also dont want to be held responsible for any damage done to the apartment. I started to feel like a prisoner because I was so uncomfortable coming out of my room while strange people were there. I felt completely unprotected and unsafe in that apartment. I was nervous to say anything about the illegal activity in the apartment because she would know exactly who was reporting it since I was the only one there. I was in contact with my parents and filling them in on what was going on. My parents lived about XXXX XXXX XXXX so I was stuck because that was too far of XXXX XXXX to make while still enrolled in school. However, one night after I returned from work I walked into the apartment and there was a huge crowd of people. Everyone froze, I walked into my room, and everyone began laughing. The apartment reeked of pot. I also noticed that the unoccupied room had been broken into. They left around XXXX and returned at about XXXX XXXX The apartment again filled with the smell of pot and they didnt leave until after XXXX XXXX . I cant describe what it feels like to be in an small apartment, with a bunch of random men who have been partying, none of which I know, who stare at me as I walk in, and all I have is a small lock on my bedroom door and no other way of getting out of the apartment. I have never felt this kind of fear before I moved into this apartment complex, and I have never again felt this fear after moving out. I talked it over with my parents and again we agreed that I was in an extremely unsafe environment. After dealing with the manager the first time I had to move, there was no way I wanted to talk to her again. I packed everything up, quit my job, and moved back home to XXXX . It was incredibly hard having XXXX XXXX XXXX hours for classes until my semester ended. My mother and I scheduled a meeting with the regional manager of XXXX XXXX in XXXX XXXX to discuss everything that had taken place. She did not take responsibility for anything. She did let us know that the previous manager that we had worked with was no longer with the company. We explained to her that we would not be paying anymore rent because I was not safe in this environment and management had done nothing to address these safety issues. We did not feel it was fair to continue to pay rent on an apartment where my safety was not guaranteed or even addressed. She explained that they were not responsible for ensuring safety at the apartment complex and that they had floors of legal representatives if we were going to pursue legal action. My experience at XXXX was horrific. I feel it was handled extremely poorly and I lived every day in fear. I feel that XXXX interfered in my studies. Both of these situations took up a lot of my time. I was dealing with both of these roommates and also fearing for my personal safety, while also trying to complete my classes. I do not feel that XXXX takes any steps to keep occupants safe on that property. This has created a lot of problems for me. My rent had been paid on time every month and I had left both rooms that I occupied in better condition than when I arrived. I began receiving calls from debt collectors every single day, some of which even threatened to take legal action against me. I had blocked all calls from them. I got in touch with student legal representation through the college and they informed me that I was definitely not the only student who had these types of issues from XXXX XXXX . However, they informed me that the way XXXX had their lease written would make it very hard to take legal action against them. They said I had two options, I could either continue to pay my rent even thought XXXX XXXX did nothing to satisfy my safety concerns or I could choose to not pay rent. I chose the second option. They informed me that they would help me choose an apartment complex next year that they had not had any issues with, clearly showing that they knew XXXX XXXX was at fault. This entire experience was traumatizing and I did not want to return to this school. I did not return to finish my degree ; instead I found a smaller, private college and lived on campus the following year. For the two years that it took me to finish my degree at this new school, I had absolutely no issues with housing, both on and off campus. It is now over 4 years later and this debt continues to haunt me. I am in the process of purchasing a house and would like to resolve this matter as it reflects poorly on my credit. I have been told by my loan officer that it would be a good idea to take care of this housing debt and that the debt collector is saying I owe about XXXX dollars in unpaid rent and various extra late fees. It is my understanding that the apartment complex has been sold by XXXX XXXX XXXX and is no longer called XXXX XXXX . It is now owned by XXXX XXXX XXXX and called XXXX XXXX .

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