Housing agencies work to address complaints

As winter approaches, students living in campus apartments may become more reliant on their property management companies to handle maintenance requests quickly and efficiently.

The Tenant Union provides a list of the number of complaints filed against each housing company to keep students informed about their landlords. The complaints that the Tenant Union reports all relate to the landlord’s obligations under the law or according to the terms of the lease. They do not take complaints about roommates, neighborhoods or rent increases.

Some companies have a history of responding to problems in a way that keeps tenants satisfied, while others have several complaints filed against them each year. Roland Realty has not had a complaint filed during the last five years and Bankier Apartments has had two complaints in five years.

Zach Mueller, leasing agent at Roland Realty, said he believes the company has an effective system for addressing tenants’ complaints. Requests are typically handled within two days, he said.

Kristie Davis, property manager of Bankier Apartments, said she also believes that Bankier has an efficient system in place. Somebody from the company checks e-mails every day and fills out maintenance requests, she said. There is also someone on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer emergency requests, she added.

Esther Patt, coordinator of the Tenant Union, said, Campus Property Management, The University Group, Ramshaw Real Estate, C-U Living and Illinois Properties Inc. have had the most complaints.

At the top of the list is CPM with 66 complaints in the last five years.

Michael Jay, spokesman for the company, said CPM is making changes in order to address complaints more quickly. This year, the housing company built its own warehouse, meaning that all maintenance supplies can be found in one place. CPM also instituted a hierarchy within its maintenance system in order to increase efficiency— maintenance workers now report to a “team leader” who works beneath the supervisor.

Azim Hamid, junior in LAS, said he is not happy with the speed at which CPM responds to requests made by tenants.

“Sometimes it takes them one or two weeks,” he added.

Hamid said he is also concerned by the fact that the furniture in his apartment is not in great condition.

“The assumption when we first signed the contract was that everything is fine,” he said.

Mohammad Aidil Bin Mat Aris, junior in Business, also said he is not satisfied with how CPM handles maintenance requests. The housing company has been slow to respond ever since the beginning of the semester when he moved in to an unclean apartment, he said.

“I had to call them several times to clean,” he added.

Aidil Bin Mat Aris said he will be moving out of his building next semester.

However, not all CPM residents have complaints. Myles Megyesi, junior in Engineering, said that his apartment was in decent condition when he moved in and that the single maintenance request he made all semester was addressed within a few days.

The large number of apartments owned by CPM makes it hard to address all requests immediately, but the company is working on responding more quickly, Jay said.

“We have, over the last few years, tried to improve,” he said.