Majid moved into Chapel Ridge at the beginning of the school year and said she was shocked by the disrepair she found. Instead of a fresh, clean apartment, she said her roommates and she were greeted by dirty carpets, a balcony littered with trash and a leaky fridge filled with expired foods.
“I was like, ‘You couldn’t have told us earlier that we’d be moving into a dirty apartment?’ because obviously that would have changed my opinion on if I wanted to live here or not,” she said.
But Majid and several residents said their concerns with the Chapel Ridge management team only got worse as requests for maintenance seemingly fell on deaf ears.
“I emailed the general manager, and she knew about what was happening, and she never replied to me,” she said. “We went to the office, and she saw us waiting, and she said she was doing something else.”
Now the management company has intervened.
Shawn Regan is a regional supervisor with Asset Campus Housing, the company that owns Chapel Ridge and other student housing properties nationwide. He said once his team realized the property’s issues, they immediately took steps to combat them, starting with management.
Last week, Katie Grout replaced the former property manager, Kayla Stout. Grout said the similarity in their names can be confusing for residents.
Majid recalled one exchange before Grout took over when her roommate was told there was little point in sending a cleaning crew since the apartment would just be dirty again the next day.
But dirt was not Majid and her roommates’ only problem. Their fridge began leaking black liquids, and soon after, the wood paneling under their cabinets fell off, according to Majid’s roommate Kristin Nelson.
“It just fell off because it was so wet, and there was all this black dirt everywhere on it and on the fridge,” Nelson said. “At first, the maintenance portal wasn’t working, so we told them about it. And now the maintenance portal is working, so I submitted a work order over a week ago, and they still haven’t gotten to it.”
Caitlyn Adams, a sophomore, was also upset when she moved into her new apartment. Adams said the apartment was such a wreck she and her roommates had to live in the complex’s model apartment for the first week of class.
“On the Friday of the first week (of class), we were able to actually move in, and it was a thousand times better,” Adams said. “They had redone the carpets, and we had new beds — not all new furniture — but new beds because the old ones were all very broken. But our stove was still not working, and it took three days for anyone to get back with us.”
Adams said once the stove was fixed, the apartment’s air conditioner broke just days later.
“That was kind of miserable, and in one of our rooms the fan can’t go on high because it wobbles so badly,” she said. “So it took two days to get it fixed, and then about four or five days later, it broke again.”
Adams recalled one staff member telling her maintenance could not fix the air conditioner unless it was a certain temperature outside. Adams said the most upsetting part is that she and roommates never understood why their requests were never being heard.
Grout said customer service is her number one priority, and within her first week, she said she has been able to address more than 90 percent of all complaints as soon as they enter her office.
Adding to Grout’s comment, Regan said in an emailed statement, “We are deeply engaged in ensuring management is responsive and will continue to help provide the resources necessary to achieve that goal.”
Adams said she and her roommates have already seen a dramatic change since Grout has taken over at Chapel Ridge.
“I’m really looking forward to what’s coming next, like getting these things fixed,” Adams said. “I know who to talk to, and I know she will call me back.”