Consumer Consumption
      by Cliff Downing

“Property management companies, Property Owners or slum lords!”

Before I bought the house (almost 10 years ago) I’m now in the process of selling I rented a home for 7 years from a great landlord. If it broke I was to have it fixed and take it off the rent. Send the receipt along with the balance of the rent. In the 7 years I rented that house my rent was never raised and my landlord stopped by a total of twice. It was the perfect situation. When I moved out of MY rent house into the home I was buying my deposit was handed back to me immediately and with a tear in his eye my landlord almost begged me to stay. Why Not? I’d paid off almost a third of his mortgage to buy the house and he never had to mess with a thing.

While a student at Oklahoma State University my experiences with landlords was somewhat less than those described above but these individuals showed concern for their property or investment and what they considered MY home. It was during the college days I had my first experience with property management companies.

Let’s face facts. If you are dealing with a property management company then what you’ve got on your hands is a corporation that is interested in only one thing, the generation of profit. I have rented from several property management companies. I have never liked even one of them. I have cleaned apartments from top to bottom, shampooed the carpets, repainted the rooms, cleaned sink, toilet and refrigerator until they sparkled and still never got back a penny of my deposit.

When an acquaintance of mine rented an apartment at Observation Point Apartments in Tulsa Oklahoma it soon became obvious that the apartment complex was not exactly safe. Her two boys had skateboards stolen from bullies that took them right from their hands. There was a standoff for 2 days with the police and some woman that even burned a hole into another apartment. Visitors and neighbors were constantly having their cars broken into and the traffic in and out of some of the apartments in the complex at all hours of the day and night would have made most retail establishments envious. (Yes, I’m implying this was drug trafficking at its most thriving level.) Yet, the property management company refused to accept any responsibility for the safety of anyone in the complex. In this instance they refused to let a single mother with two small boys out of their lease because “The property management company wasn’t responsible for the safety of the residents of the apartment complex!” When things got so bad that the single mother had to move to protect her self and her children they forced her and her terminally ill father to cough up $1000.00 to buy out the lease. Personally I find the actions of Case and Associates with regards to this matter to be completely unforgivable and would hope that this article might motivate a few readers to tell their former potential landlords that I said they are nothing short of scum. There are several property management companies I could list here but this bunch has got to be the worst. In the case I mentioned above the woman with the two children was told by the police that the complex was not safe to live in and that they should move immediately. Of course the Property management company could have cared less and even called the Tulsa Police a bunch of liars.

When you rent from an individual you at least have someone with an interest in the property that is other than complete profit generation. Most landlords work hard to find just the right renter for their investments. It has been my experience that they will bend over backwards to help you if you just pay your rent on time and take care of the place you’re renting. I have in general found that when I had a landlord that was an individual they were truly interested in the well being of their tenants and the property.

Property management companies have in my opinion acted completely opposite. Generally they only care about one thing. 100% occupancy no matter what the cost and they will rent an apartment to a just paroled child molester right next to a single mom with 4 young children. When the obvious happens they will show you some clause in the rental agreement that says they aren’t responsible now pay me my money. If your payday falls a day later than when they demand their money they either evict you, lock you out of your apartment and steal your things or charge you ridiculous late fees. All three sometimes. If you try to take them to court they will out spend you in the legal system until you yell uncle and just give up. Which leads us to next weeks article “All the justice you can afford to buy!” For the purpose of this report let’s just say that property management companies make large donations to politicians and most renters do not so you can guess which side the law will favor in most states.

There are some great landlords and probably property management companies as well. (Although I’ve never heard of a good property management company.) There are also some real “stinkers”. If you must rent don’t go for the first cute property or the first place you can cram all you stuff in. Ask for references, go around and meet the neighbors and just sit and watch the place
for a couple of hours. Some apartment complex’s like to use the scam of the “Model Apartment” which is their perfect
apartment fully furnished and up front by the pool. Then when you sign a lease throw you back in the back where there’s
no parking, no pool, no security lights, no decent neighbors and certainly no apartment that looked like their “Model Apartment”!
In today’s market even people with really bad credit can still buy a house. That way you have something to show for your
money when it’s time to move on. Sure, selling a house is a real pain. Just ask me, I’m in the middle of a real estate deal right
now and it’s not easy BUT it is certainly a better situation than being stuck in a situation where your family is either in constant danger or forced to live in an environment that is neither safe nor sanitary. It has been my experience that given a choice I’ll
pick a landlord over a property management company any day of the week. Like I said, there are a few landlords out there
that are just as worthless as property management companies but at least you’ll have someone you can wrap you fingers
around the neck of should the situation require it.

Has someone really “rocked your boat” and you want to tell the world
I’d love to hear from you. E-mail to


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