John Dawson looked forward to using some of the amenities that were advertised when he and his roommate, Greg Hughes, moved into Raleigh'sThistledown Apartments last August.
The apartments promised lighted basketball and tennis courts, swimming pool with a lap pool and high-speed Internetconnections. Residents say they have not seen any of those amenities.
The apartments also offered "electronic controlled access" to thecommunity, which Hughes says is constantlybroken, and "generous parking for residents and guests."
Hughes, Dawson and other Thistledown residents say the 50 visitorspaces allotted for nearly 400 residents are not enough, and because ofthat, cars are constantlytowed. As for the other amenities, residents say property managers onlymade emptypromises.
"They keep saying it'sgoing to happen next month, by September,October, November, by the end of December, by January," Hughessays. "Everyone here is just somad and frustrated!"
To make up for the problems, residents received $100taken off their rent for three months. However, that ended in November and the rent went back up. Dawson and Hughes pay $920 a month.
"Paying as much as we do to not get what we should. It's ridiculous," hesays.
Five On Your Side first became involved in November. When manager LaurieStanley blamed the area's "low unemployment rate," she promisedeverything would be complete by December.
When things still were not done at the endof January, owner Buddy Register said he had justlearned DSL Internet service is notavailable for the complex, but that the other amenities would now "definitely be finished by the end of February." They have still not beenfinished.
After ongoing conversations, the tennis, volleyball and basketballcourts are now usable. However, mud runoff is still a problem.When Five on your Side asked why the amenities list promised"courts," as in more than one of each, Register said he did not know whythe 's' was added.
Despite the promise of lighted courts, lights will not be added becauseof a wiring problem. As for theadvertisement of "generous parking," Stanleyresponded by saying, "Who is to say what's generous?"
Dawson and Hughes and several other residents say they plan to move outwhen their leases are up. They hope it sends a message to Register.
"They're not worried about whether their residents are happy here. As longas they have their money, they're happy," Dawson says. "I just don't likebeing taken advantage of."
Register says the pool will finally open on Saturday.What you need to know: tenants have the right to enjoy theamenities they are promised. Otherwise, they are entitled to have theirrent lowered.
Register feels the $100 "abatement" he offered for three months was morethan generous. It would now be up to the renters to decide whether theywant to dispute the issue in small claims court.