Integral, the management company, at Ashley Collegetown and Capitol Gateway has maintenance and security problems on its properties, according to tenants. On the outside, these properties look good but some tenants tell a different story about their experience trying to get maintenance repairs inside their apartments.
Egbert Perry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Integral, is on various boards including the Civil and Human Rights Center in Atlanta.
His company is a diversified 300 person organization with projects in regions all over the United States. Integral is headquartered in Atlanta, with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Denver, and has annual revenues of about $200 million.
Claire McDonald, Director of the Atlanta Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) Tenants Union is focused on organizing tenants at Ashley Collegetown.
What McDonald learned from tenants at Ashley Collegetown is they have issues with security and maintenance which is very slow to repair problems. There are multiple health and safety violations including mold, faulty plumbing, broken security gates, call boxes and doors, and excess crime.
The entrance gate was broken for months but recently has been fixed, the property has no security guard and tenants complain about crime with car break-ins and shootings on a regular basis in the area.
Some apartments have mold which is a health hazard, and others have high water bills, some as high as $500 that used to be $60.
ACORN has written letters to the front office, contacted Atlanta Code Enforcement, and filed formal complaints with the health department. McDonald set up a meeting with a company representative at Ashley Collegetown apartments. Residents showed up to share their problems but the representative from Integral did not show up. So they went to the office with their problems but it was locked
Comments from tenants on the google review site at Ashley Collegetown range from “love the place” to “run away as fast as you can.” There are positive comments about the apartments being inexpensive and close to the Atlanta University complex but also lots of negative comments from residents.
Here are just a few of the negative comments by tenants:
“If it’s broke it will stay broke – hot water heaters, fridges, washing machines, mailboxes.”
“This is one of the worst Properties that I have stayed at since I moved to Atlanta. I used to stay at a property close to the bluff and did not run into as many issues [and crime] as I have since I have been here.”
“Management is awful. I reported multiple issues of being harassed by a male employee here and have been disrespected and ignored. It is awful to feel unsafe in your own home, especially when the person harassing me has keys to my apartment by being employed here.
“Many residents are on section 8, and in my opinion, explains management’s lack of concern for their tenants’ welfare.”
McDonald wondered if it was different at other properties managed by Integral. So she organized a meeting at another Integral property, Capitol Gateway. At that first meeting, four tenants showed up and voiced their problems.
Stefano has lived at Capitol Gateway for almost 2 years. At the meeting, he said the gate to his building was constantly broken. A hole above his window let in water when it rained and it took several months before it was repaired. “I was emailing them almost daily, ” Stefano said.
He also reported that it took two weeks for a wasp nest to be removed. And 3 weeks before an alarm in an empty apartment that kept going off was finally turned off. His clogged drain still has not been fixed.
An elderly tenant talked about her refrigerator that has leaked water since June and is still leaking. “I have to put towels on the floor to soak up the water because the floor is buckling up around my refrigerator and stove. The water in my refrigerator is messing up my vegetables and food. They say they will send someone to fit it but they never do,” the tenant told Streets of Atlanta.
“My dishwasher has been broken for a while and it has standing water. They assured me two weeks ago someone was coming to fix it but no one came. I’m concerned about growing mold or mildew,” Rossa told the Streets of Atlanta.
Tenant comments on Capitol Gateway google review had fewer negative comments than those at Ashley Collegetown apartment.
ACRON’S organizing at these properties only started in July this year and will undoubtedly recruit more tenants to speak up and speak out about problems in the future.