East Lansing residents said off-campus student housing has taken a turn for the worst at Michigan State University. At The Villages of Chandler Crossing, an off-campus apartment complex far down Abbot Road, one mom couldn’t help but laugh at the condition of her son’s apartment as she moved him in.
“The carpet was torn at the threshold into the bedroom, the toilet seat in the bathroom is broken, the blinds are broken in the living room, all the air vents are rusty and filled with dust and gross things, just gross,” said Cara Renfrow, the mother of a resident. She said the list of broken items goes on and on, including kitchen faucet, patio light and garbage disposal.
The patio was also covered in algae and dirt and there was no drain plug in the shower, Renfrow said.
More than 100 members of the 517 Living Community Facebook group have voiced their concerns about the complex, and shared some of their experiences living there. Many members said that the ground was so dirty that their socks were turning black just from walking around.
Bob Hetherington, a public relations representative from Chandler Crossing, said that these complaints were exaggerated on social media and did not accurately represent the condition of the complex.
“Complaints highlighted on social media and elsewhere are not the experiences we want to provide for any of our residents and we are actively working to make sure any outstanding issues are resolved as quickly as possible,” Hetherington said.
THINGS GOT WORSE
In addition to all the things falling apart in Renfrow’s son’s unit, it was also supposed to come fully furnished. Upon moving in, he was missing his couch. After days of waiting, her son finally received a couch that was left sitting in the hallway of the complex since before he even moved in.
“They had taken that sofa that was destroyed with no cushions and put it in his apartment,” Renfrow said.
Not only was the condition of the apartment a disaster, the move-in process took over two hours just to get their keys and for some residents did not even work.
“When he went to go get his keys he waited three hours in line,” stated Renfrow.
Hetherington said that this was due to the new key fob system they have introduced at the Villages this year.
“Lines and waits at The Club were compounded by failure of the existing electronic key system. The system was scheduled for replacement at the end of September after many delays. The old system got overloaded on move-in day. This caused many of the keys to fail. Immediately, we mobilized the installers to accelerate the upgrade. All keys/locks at The Club have been replaced as of today” Hetherington said.
THEY GOT BETTER BUT NOT QUITE THERE
While some of the things have been addressed, it is almost a month later and things are still broken in her son’s apartment. Renfrow took it into her own hands to fix her son’s broken faucet so that he could wash his dishes without water spraying all over the kitchen.
Renfrow said that the top of her son’s fridge was covered in a sticky-like substance and that the floors were turning her feet black. She elaborated to say that was not what really bothered her though.
Renfrow had a list of numerous complaints about things all over the apartment being broken. However, her biggest complaint was about the customer service and the lack of crew out there to help her son.
“On move-in, I only saw two maintenance people, one smoking a cigarette and another arguing on the phone with what sounded like a spouse,” said Renfrow.
FINALLY, THINGS WERE RESOLVED
Finally, after days of trying to receive help, Renfrow said she finally got some at the front desk to help her son.
“When I talked to her it sounded like she actually cared,” Renfrow said.
Hetherington says that some of these issues could have been caused due to an increased number of tenants.
“We ended this year with a 17 percent increase from last year. We have also seen an increase in our number of renewals. We have many happy residents who have made Chandler Crossings their home for multiple years.” said Hetherington.
He also said staff is moving quickly to address all issues that have arisen with the complex.