University students find 'deplorable' conditions in off campus apartments on move-in day
Tuscaloosa, Ala. —
A move-in nightmare. University of Alabama students are calling conditions in off campus apartments "deplorable."
"There's all these stains and as you come in you can smell kinda the mildew in the apartment," said Marisela Soria as she walked us through the apartment her college sophomore daughter was supposed to move into Saturday. "She can't live here, it's unacceptable for anybody to live in these conditions."
The apartment above Soria's smelling so strongly of urine we had to plug our noses while inside. And one after another students and parents sent us pictures and videos of the conditions inside the apartments at Campus Evolution Villages. The apartments are about two miles from the University of Alabama. It is not owned by the University but the apartment's website says it's at the heart of the University of Alabama and close to Shelton State Community College.
The website also says, "Campus Evolution Villages’ mission is to consistently deliver a superior experience through our singularly focused student housing management team." Students found anything but a "superior experience" when they arrived Saturday. "It was completely trashed and disgusting," said Bernel Jones., "My window was busted, the carpet in there was also dirty...I found a trace of marijuana, a roach, in my assigned bedroom."
Jones said he turned his keys back in to the apartment office and was told it would be clean for him by 5 p.m. Saturday. He was still waiting as of 7 p.m. Saturday night. "It's just totally unacceptable and inconvenient to have to go through something like this."
We went to the management office for answers and found a room full of people waiting for answers too. We couldn't get in to see the leasing manager but an employee outside her door tells us, "Right now we're working on filtering through all the issue and seeing what we can do." She said she doesn't have any more to say Saturday and as I continued to try and get answers from her the hand of another employee grabbed our camera and told us to leave.
More parents follow us off the property to share their pictures and stories. Dewayne Leverette tells us about his daughters apartment. "Got here there was mold in the dishwasher, the carpet had cigarette burns all over it." He says he will not leave his daughter in the apartment. "It's just horrible, I mean I didn't live this bad in Afghanistan...I'm a retired soldier."
Leverette says he pays $519 a month for his daughters apartment. He tells us the apartment complex wanted the first month's rent on August 1st even though she could not move in until August 19th. Students and their parents now want to be reimbursed rent money, the cost of hotels, have rental moving trucks for extra days, and any cleaning they did themselves.