Troubleshooter: Apartment insecurity

August 4, 2008 5:47:23 PM PDT
It's a frightening ordeal that would have any parent concerned. A Raleigh college student's mom says her daughter's apartment wasn't safe and secure. When this mom says she would have to pay more than a thousand dollars to get her daughter out of her lease, she got in touch with Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

This mom just moved her daughter who's a rising junior at a local college into a new apartment. Soon after moving in, her mom says someone started trying to get in. She tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "It frightened me to death." This mom who asked us not to show her face or use her name, said the problem started soon after her daughter moved in to an apartment at the Dominion of Lake Lynn. She says, "She has had problems the whole time with people showing up, knocking on the door, looking for the previous resident."

But it didn't stop with just people looking for the previous resident. One night her mom says when her daughter arrived home, she found her apartment had been broken into. She adds, "Throw pillows from her sofa, her cable box, and a DVD game were scattered out on the lawn. The AC had been turned off. The power cord from the cable box was hidden up under the sofa."

Police arrived right away. The mom adds, "The police said that there was absolutely no indication that there was forced entry that they thought someone had a key." She says the apartment complex's maintenance did change the locks that night. But just a few hours later, she says things got even scarier. She adds, "She was awakened by somebody putting a key into the lock and trying to get in. She did get up and look out the peephole there was a man there she did not recognize." She says the man did eventually leave, but the night's ordeal was enough for this mom to say her daughter's moving out. She says, "It's frightening to think of what the intent could have been at 12:30 at night to have returned."

She says when they tried to break the lease, management refused. Instead she says they gave her three options. The first being her daughter could move to a different apartment complex owed by the same company, with no guarantee of keeping the same rental rate. The second option she says was to give 60 days notice of lease termination and pay an additional two months rent. She adds the third option was to find someone to sub-let the apartment. This mom says none of these options was something she was willing to accept. She says, "They failed to provide a safe place. I really don't feel like the lock was changed between residents. Even if it was, someone out there had a key someone that she didn't know had a key."

So this mom turned to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. She made one call to the Dominion of Lake Lynn and explained the ordeal to an office employee. She said the manager would get back with me. She never did, but this mom says the manager called her with some welcome news. She says, "They agreed to release us from any further financial obligation and my daughter's security deposit would be refunded. I'm very grateful my daughter was not a crime statistic and I'm very grateful for you resolving this."

This mom hopes her daughter's experience hits home to other parents who are getting ready to set their son or daughter up in a new apartment. If you're moving into a new apartment, ask if the locks are changed between tenants and ask for proof that they were changed. When it comes to the Dominion of Lake Lynn, this mom says they were told the locks are changed between tenants, but because of what she says happened, she has a hard time believing it.


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