Local News

Tenants At Thistledown Apartments Claim They Are Not Getting Promised Amenities

Posted May 4, 2001 5:10 a.m. EDT

— One of the pluses of apartment living is all the amenities that usually come with it, but residents who live in a Raleigh apartment complex say they are not getting the amenities they pay for.

John Dawson looked forward to using some of the amenities that were advertised when he and his roommate, Greg Hughes, moved into Raleigh's Thistledown Apartments last August.

The apartments promised lighted basketball and tennis courts, swimming pool with a lap pool and high-speed Internet connections. Residents say they have not seen any of those amenities.

The apartments also offered "electronic controlled access" to the community, which Hughes says is constantly broken, and "generous parking for residents and guests."

Hughes, Dawson and other Thistledown residents say the 50 visitor spaces allotted for nearly 400 residents are not enough, and because of that, cars are constantly towed. As for the other amenities, residents say property managers only made empty promises.

"They keep saying it's going to happen next month, by September, October, November, by the end of December, by January," Hughes says. "Everyone here is just so mad and frustrated!"

To make up for the problems, residents received $100 taken 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," he says.

Five On Your Side first became involved in November. When manager Laurie Stanley blamed the area's "low unemployment rate," she promised everything would be complete by December.

When things still were not done at the end of January, owner Buddy Register said he had just learned DSL Internet service is not available for the complex, but that the other amenities would now "definitely be finished by the end of February." They have still not been finished.

After ongoing conversations, the tennis, volleyball and basketball courts 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 why the 's' was added.

Despite the promise of lighted courts, lights will not be added because of a wiring problem. As for the advertisement of "generous parking," Stanley responded by saying, "Who is to say what's generous?"

Dawson and Hughes and several other residents say they plan to move out when their leases are up. They hope it sends a message to Register.

"They're not worried about whether their residents are happy here. As long as they have their money, they're happy," Dawson says. "I just don't like being taken advantage of."

Register says the pool will finally open on Saturday. What you need to know: tenants have the right to enjoy the amenities they are promised. Otherwise, they are entitled to have their rent lowered.

Register feels the $100 "abatement" he offered for three months was more than generous. It would now be up to the renters to decide whether they want to dispute the issue in small claims court.