Business trap, crisis concept. Figures of businessmen stand near a mousetrap, the bait in which is torn paper with the inscription - Housing Crisis

The Apartment Con

The apartment con

Words by Molly Britt

So you’re moving out of your old place and find what you think is the perfect apartment for you. You put down the deposits, fill out the paperwork and find yourself all moved in. Then, right after getting comfortable property management is giving you one reason after another to really want to break that lease. 

It’s not uncommon to hear horror stories from former residents of apartment complexes promising their best behavior. Whether it’s not getting responses for repairs that are needed or unwelcome intruders looking to “fix what’s broken” in the early morning without the residents knowing, we have the list of complaints you need to be aware of for next time your lease is up.

One former resident of Century Deerwood Park was dealt multiple tough hands while she lived there the past few years. What began as a simple maintenance request ended up being multiple unanswered requests to fix their broken dryer, leading to the residents fixing it themselves. All the while, they were still being charged for maintenance fees every month. When it was brought up to management, nothing was done to help them. Amenities and gates were broken constantly and unable to be used by residents, however, the worst of it was management’s handling of a crime that occurred in the complex. 

Now, we all know how these property managers like to make everything seem fine and dandy, but this experience tops the cake. In 2020, a murder took place in the complex. Emily and her husband were told by management about the occurrence and they had mentioned the suspect was apprehended. It was not until Emily heard about it on the news that she found out the office lied and the suspect was not caught and still on the loose. “They never corrected themselves,” mentioned Emily. 

From E. Coli outbreaks to criminals on the loose, nothing had ever been mentioned to residents in what could have been a simple letter. 

This is just one experience out of many where residents have been taken advantage of and lied to by management. According to reviews on The Coast apartments in Ponte Vedra, some residents have been dealt similar hands. They have claimed management is not responsive, crime has been occurring and nothing is done about it, and appliances are broken that employees refuse to fix or claim they will and do not return to do so. 

These all seem to be common occurrences among younger residents. So many college students have similar stories, unfortunately. It seems the offices find it easy to assume they can “pull one over” on the younger clients.

Two residents formerly living at The Coast can attest to management taking advantage of younger women living alone. Carmen Macri and Sarah Hess had lived in the complex for five years. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking it was a great place. According to Macri and Hess, the maintenance team would come in unannounced “not once, not twice, but multiple times throughout the five years and two buildings” they lived in. No knocks or announcements were conducted. Hot water, that was unusable for the residents, was never fixed by maintenance after they claimed it was “too new” for them to mess with. 

Now I get at this point these complaints have been somewhat repetitive in this article, but let’s face it…the fact that I have to mention these even once is enough to show that apartment complexes all over the city of Jacksonville (and further) do the absolute least to appeal to their clients. If you were to look online at the bad reviews, a simple response from the complex’s main administration apologizes for their claims and promises their best to help…sometimes even months after the residents in question have moved out. 

Inadequate responses and empty promises is not what these people need. I would even go as far as saying this has become an epidemic of sorts. Residents young and old have been conned out of money, services, and safe care that should have already been offered. 

It should take more than a simple response after the fact to claim the issues “have been addressed.” 


About Molly Britt

Molly Britt is a multimedia journalist with Folio Weekly, as well as an account executive. As a Jax Beach local and University of North Florida graduate, she is familiar with all things Duval and Northeast Florida. She enjoys investigative journalism and interviews, using her platform to educate and inform the local community with her words. While at Folio, Britt has enjoyed interviews with the likes of Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls and local small businesses such as Femme Fire Books.