Posted: 2/2/2009 by ATh
Unfair Housing Practices – Georgian
8750 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland
Let’s see..Where should I start…If you want incredible incompetence, bait-and-switch tactics, and to have your signed lease contract breached for absolutely no reason, then sure, go for the Georgian.
First, I was given the keys to the wrong apartment when I came to the Georgian to view a studio. The Senior Leasing Agent gave me keys and sent me, unaccompanied, to an apt. for viewing. As I’m turning the key and pushing open the apt. door, all of a sudden the door flies open from the other side and a lady, looking very startled, yelled ” what are you doing’ ” and stated that she thought I was trying to break-in and that I was “lucky” that she didn’t have a shotgun. After profusely apologizing to the tenant, I went back to the leasing office, bewildered, and told the agent what happened. Her response was to look surprised and say “oh, there was someone in that apartment'” She then gave me keys to another apt, proclaiming that this apt was definitely available. I went to see it which took all of about 10 minutes, it looked good, and came back to the office and asked to reserve it, sign the lease and put down my deposit. But I was told that the Senior Leasing Agent left and that the office would hold the apt in my file as long as I came back the following day.
I came back the very next day, told the Senior Leasing Agent I liked the apt and was ready to sign, but was then flat-out told “oh, sorry, i accidently let you see the wrong apt” and that if I wanted it, I would have to pay $200 extra over the price she quoted me the day before. At this point, I was so frustrated that I told her no and decided to leave.
But…I guess because I had been looking for a place for a long time and had exhausted many of the more pricey, less convenient options in the DC-area, I decided to give the Georgian another chance. I figured maybe this Senior Agent was a fluke or having a bad week, right’
I went back, applied and was approved, and then signed for an apartment with a different Leasing Agent and was told the apt would become available for move-in on the first of the month. I was told that the tenant hadn’t moved yet, so I couldn’t view it at the time but was assured that I could come see it closer to my move-in date once it was unoccupied. I put down a $300 deposit and signed the lease. For some reason, the agent hedged on giving me a copy of the lease I’d just signed, but i insisted and was finally able to drag a copy out of him before leaving.
All seemed to be going well…Until I made a general phone call to the leasing office mid-month and was surprised to learn that, lo-and-behold, my apartment would not be available on my lease start date; and that it would still be occupied at least several days afterwards. Noone could tell me how many days “several days” was going to be. All they could tell me was that there was no way I could occupy the apartment I signed for on my lease. Confused and irritated, I made another in-person visit to the Georgian leasing office to find out what was going on and was told yet again by the Senior Leasing Agent (yes, Ms. Wrong Keys herself) that I could not occupy the apartment on my lease start date. In fact, she went so far as to say that not only could I NOT move in, but they could make no arrangements for an alternate apartment or guest suite (standard for tenants in this situation) because none were available; and that I would be subject to a rent increase if I was to move-in after my lease start date.
Seriously. The Georgian officials told me that they would raise my rental rate written into the terms of my lease if they were to move me in after my lease start date, even though they were the ones forcing me to not move in on the date of my lease. And to top it all off, the Senior Leasing Agent was rude and dismissive and told me that “when it rains, it pours” in reference to my problems at the Georgian and that I should go live somewhere else. Wow. I’m floored to say the least.
At some point in this whole process, the Leasing Manager gave me what I guess he considered a valid reason for why I couldn’t move-in: The apartment was still occupied by a tenant who had a unique type of lease where no notice to vacate is required; and since this tenant had not given them notice on their decision to stay on much longer, the leasing office didn’t know that the apartment would still be occupied when they gave me the lease to sign. (I signed the lease more than a month before.)
Ummmmm…Why would you offer an apartment and even go so far as to set the lease, for apartments in which you have absolutely no idea of when the previous tenant is leaving’ And even if this was the case, in an 800-unit complex, why not place me in a different apartment at the same rate’ The fact that I held a lease and was first told that, “NO”, there were no alternate apartments available to accommodate me and then later told that same day, “YES”, there were apartments available – but only if willing to pay at a different rental rate – screams bait-and-switch to me.
So, to make a long story short, I was never given any real reason as to why I was denied the apartment even with a signed lease in hand(their claim that the current tenant decided not to leave is NOT a real reason to me) and the Georgian agents never once offered me my application fee or security deposit back on their own accord. I reported the Georgian and Riverstone Residential Group to the Montgomery County Housing Department plus others because of their contract breach. I had to contact their upper managers and open a case with Montgomery County in order to get my payments refunded/returned, which I did receive.
Pure incompetence and utterly criminal. My advice’ Get copies of anything and everything you sign at the Georgian.
The Georgian advertises itself as a “luxury” apartment, but no luxury apartment should operate in this manner. If you want to sign a lease, pay a security deposit and pay application fees only to have them utterly breached and invalidated, then the Georgian is the place to be. Or if you like disorganized, incompetent, utterly disrespectful office staff that can’t place the right keys, loses paperwork, etc then maybe the Georgian is your style. Don’t let the pretty veneer fool you.