Student tenants were promised chic digs would greet them when they moved into recently remodeled off-campus apartments.
What they got when they arrived to their rooms at On 50, however, were dryers stored in units, light switches embedded in walls and missing cabinets.
Delays in remodeling created so many problems for some residents of the apartment complex on North 50th Street that they had to leave their rooms for a hotel on move-in day.
The apartments were supposed to be completed before new tenants began arriving Aug. 20, but due to miscommunication between the property manager, Jerry Ferrari, and management, the due date was never met.
Eric Bronstein, the Executive Vice President of The Scion Group who owns the complex, said remodeling was the cause of the major inconveniences for residents.
“It’s partly management’s fault for trusting in the property manager and not questioning him,” Bronstein said.
Ferrari is no longer property manager of the company.
Though Bronstein, 37, admits the management team’s error, he said On 50 is doing everything they can to fix the situation.
Ferrari was in charge of managing the project, but didn’t deliver. Ferrari’s task was simply to make sure the construction was on time and running smoothly, but that wasn’t the case.
One resident was unable to enter his unit because dryers were stored inside. Several apartments still have no fire detectors installed and wires from the light switches were left exposed after residents were welcomed back.
One resident said some residents were upset that they had to stay in hotels.
“It was absolute madness when I walked in; the place was not even done,” the resident said.
Roommates Brian Burke, 19, and Ryan Justice, 20, struggled the first week they moved in.
“I slept here for a night with no air conditioning; I decided to stay with friends until it was fixed,” Justice said.
Besides having to withstand the Florida heat, they had dirty air filters, no light covers, no TV and no door handles.
“I had to take a shower in the dark; we didn’t have a light in the bathroom for 10 to 12 days,” Burke said.
Burke and Justice had to pay separately for items in the apartment that should have been included in the month’s rent.
“They could’ve reimbursed us for things that we had to buy for the room, like locks and a door knob,” Burke said.
Paula Barca, 19, majoring in advertising, had no problem when she moved in. According to Barca there were items missing, but nothing major.
“I had friends that lived above that had to take showers in my apartment because they had no water pressure,” she said.
Since most residents haven’t occupied their unit for a whole month, Bronstein said they will be credited for the inconvenience.
Residents will also be refunded their money in full if they had to pay for a hotel out of their own pocket, Bronstein said.
Ashleigh Baird, 23, majoring in architecture, moved into the apartment complex on Aug. 22 and stayed there for only two weeks, but is being charged for the month.
“They wouldn’t pro-rate the rent,” Baird said.
She was also unsatisfied with the way her apartment was presented to her the day she moved in. When Baird arrived at her apartment, the back door wasn’t attached.
“My boyfriend fixed it, otherwise it would’ve been considered unlivable and we would’ve stayed at a hotel,” Baird said.