Georgia State student residents are at odds with 200 Edgewood, a recently constructed apartment building in the downtown Atlanta area. Students began signing their leases in July 2016, but within the first few months of its opening, there have been a rising stack of complaints by students who feel like they’ve been cheated out of their money.
Residents told The Signal about the empty promises, lack of parking, building amenity issues, and management problems that they’ve been dealing with.
Kelly Perry, a Georgia State student said she’s been finding the terms in her leasing contract aren’t adding up.
“In our lease there are sections that mention restrictions for the pool, patio, the basketball court, the tennis court, and none of those things exist at 200 Edgewood,” Perry said.
Lauren Surillo, is another student resident who, like Perry, said the downtown complex isn’t holding up to the expectations they had raised during the contract-signing period. The lease both students signed contained amenities which the particular complex by the Georgia State campus doesn’t include, and both of them paid thinking their money would include those luxuries.
Surillo said she was sure they were going to keep the promises they made about her living experience.
“When I first signed my lease I was really excited, because they were making a lot of promises. They said there would possibly be a Chick-fil-A, they were asking what amenities we would like,” Surillo said. “And our lease promised things that we still don’t have.”
According to Perry and Surillo, the apartments’ leasing contract included a patio, a basketball court, and a pool. None of which have yet to be made.
In a lease The Signal was able to obtain, the amenities subtitle of the contract states, “Use of the pool shall be governed by the rules and regulations posted in the pool areas and shall be at the risk of resident and resident’s family and guest.”
The lease also makes mention of rules and guidelines associated with a hot tub, tanning center, basketball court and volleyball court. To which the rules for the basketball court and volleyball court states, “The hours will be available in the office and are subject to change at the discretion of management.”
“The free visitor parking we were promised turned into paid public parking, and now anyone who comes to see me has to park blocks away,” said Surillo. “When I asked why those things aren’t here, I was told there was a clause at the top of the lease that states that they used the same lease for all their apartment buildings.”
Erin Willoughby, staff attorney at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. said there’s nothing wrong with what 200 Edgewood did.
“This is just a hard and expensive lesson for students, because you have to understand what you’re agreeing to.”
“There is no illegal action by the landlord, unless students can prove they were frauded into signing their lease. It is also not uncommon for a landlord to use a standardized lease for all their properties,” she said.
Willoughby also pointed out that the lease did in fact state that students could use whatever amenities were currently in place.
The lease states, “The landlord will identify which unit in a written notice to resident prior to the beginning of the term, together with the right to use, in common with others, the furniture, appliances, and personal property provided by the landlord in such bedroom and unit, and the right to use, in common with others, any common kitchen, bathrooms, personal property, and other common areas, to the extent currently in place at the unit or the facility.”
Therefore, students were obliged to abide by the lease’s rules if there was a patio or pool, but did not guarantee that the particular complex would have one of each.
The Signal made multiple attempts to reach out to 200 Edgewood for a comment, but received no response.
Both Perry and Surillo, said they’ve tried emailing their problems to management, but have failed in getting in touch with anyone in charge.
When asked who they report their issues to, both students said Tina Wilson, the general manager at 200 Edgewood. Perry claims that Wilson is difficult to reach.
“Tina Wilson doesn’t respond to emails, it’s almost as if she doesn’t take our complaints seriously until we get our parents involved,” Perry said. “I’ve emailed her on several occasions, and she would never respond unless my mother did.”
Surillo added that often times when there is an immediate issue, that it’s difficult to find someone to help.
“Often times there is no one at the front desk, and I find it inconsiderate. One month I went to the desk to pay my rent and no one was there, and I don’t understand why there isn’t someone always there,” said Surillo.
But both students said there were other malfunctions with the company’s leasing contract, like failing to notify them about all the living conditions.
“The staff failed to notify us that parking spaces were extremely limited,” resident April Mills said.
Mills said the one-parking level arrangement is extremely inconvenient, especially for students. She said working until the late hours of the night makes it difficult to find parking within the complex and often has to park two blocks away when she gets back.
“I work four days a week, so walking two blocks away from my apartment in the late hours of the night can be dangerous and it’s an inconvenience, especially when it’s cold or if there’s inclement weather,” she said.