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Cascades Grandview Renters' Frustrations Continue

5:55 PM, Jun 28, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- If you're renting, there's a reasonable expectation that some things will break.
And a reasonable expectation that your landlord will fix them in a timely manner.

But some residents say that's not what's happening at Cascades Grandview Apartments 228 units in Greensboro. 

Portable fans are still whirring at the apartment complex more than two weeks after an electrical short took out the building's air conditioning system.

Read our previous report about the complex here.

"We're expecting for our problems to be taken seriously and to be delivered in a timely manner," said Cheyenne Streeter, a resident.

But for the fairly new tenant and her hundreds of neighbors in the Greensboro high-rise, the AC is just another line on a list of frustrations.

"I was expecting for my heat and air to work, I was expecting to have a manageable refrigerator," she said as she listed problems she'd had since moving to the apartment.

For the past year, Cheyenne says, it seems every other day something is broken at the complex.

Currently, the pool is closed. Management tells News 2 it's for maintenance. Several residents tell us it hasn't been useable in months.

At least one security door doesn't work. The door handle is broken and anyone can go in and out.

Also, city inspections reports in the last year show the building has been written up numerous times: improper electrical systems, no lighting in bathrooms or laundry, decaying walls and equipment in apartments not working being a few of the reasons cited in the reports.

And even though the rent is cheap, Cheyenne has about had it.

"Because I feel like even struggling a little more to pay money would be a lot better than my safety, my health being a problem," she said.

Safety because Greensboro police have responded to the Market Street property 357 times since 2011.

READ: GDP Service Calls at Cascades Grandview

Some, for simple alarm and domestic problems, but others, for vandalism, drugs and suspicious activity Cheyenne says the owners ignore.

"Anybody would expect to pay money, however much money they are paying, they expect a basic service and that's not being delivered," Cheyenne said.

According to Richard Craig, staff attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina, she has a point.

"The law says the landlord shall provide fit premises. That's the starting point regardless of what the contract rent is," he explained.

Craig deals with housing issues and says simple renters' inconveniences can quickly become major frustrations.

"Oftentimes the frustration comes from a lack of responsiveness to their legitimate request for repairs," he said.

But Beth Mckee-Huger with the Greensboro Housing Coalition says she's looked into some of the complaints from the residents and "it sounded like the manager was doing what they could." 

However, she also adds that the property manager, knowing there was only one AC unit serving the 228-unit complex, should have kept it well maintained.


For Cheyenne, though, complaints to the leasing office seem to continue to fall on deaf ears -- with few results.

"They'll tell anybody anything to keep them at bay. It's a matter of getting them out of your ear."

Cascades Grandview, LLC has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau.

City records show managers did eventually fix all the problems inspectors found. But documents show they still owe $28,995.25 in county taxes.

Our expert says landlords don't have to provide a stove or AC or any appliances but if they do they have to work.

They add that if you're in a rent agreement at a complex with myriad issues, you should:
Get your complaints in writing
Keep track of it
If your neighbors are going through the same thing, organize as a group
Call your local city buildings inspector
and if all else fails file a legal complaint.

But never hold back your rent.

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