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Great Apartment by University - No Reviews?


alaskagirl

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I got accepted into Portland State University's Writing:Book Publishing program and I'm moving in August. I found this great apartment right by the university called Westfal Apartments. It looks lovely, one bedroom, one bathroom, 500 sqft, seriously close to the university (as in, a four minute walk), and in my price range. 

 

But I can't seem to find reviews of the place anywhere. I feel like this should be a red flag. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

 

~alaskagirl

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In my experience lots of people don't bother to review their apartment building or manager. I was only able to get unreliable information on my building, too, and I love it. Especially in my experience of living near a university, you hear a lot about big property management companies if they are bad, and you rarely hear of them if they are good.

 

Your best bet is to just go there and view the apartment, or try to get a friend in the area to go if you're not able to go there before your move. You could also see if your school has a student tenant union, or if the company has ever been written up in the student paper. The bad company at my undergrad made our paper all the time.

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In my experience lots of people don't bother to review their apartment building or manager. I was only able to get unreliable information on my building, too, and I love it. Especially in my experience of living near a university, you hear a lot about big property management companies if they are bad, and you rarely hear of them if they are good.

 

Your best bet is to just go there and view the apartment, or try to get a friend in the area to go if you're not able to go there before your move. You could also see if your school has a student tenant union, or if the company has ever been written up in the student paper. The bad company at my undergrad made our paper all the time.

 

I really agree with this. The only reviews I ever see of apartment buildings/managers are usually on the landlord's website, which are obviously not reliable! Sometimes I see 1 or 2 yelp reviews but the nature of the reviews leave me dubious that I would have the same experiences (i.e. they are sometimes extremely entitled people that expected their landlords to do things like change their lightbulbs for them or have very strange and specific experiences!)

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I wouldn't worry about not finding online reviews since most people don't bother reviewing apartments/landlords, but I would advise against signing a lease without either viewing the apartment yourself or at least having someone you trust go there to make sure it's legit and send you some pictures. 

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I've noticed that people tend to not rate them unless there was something wrong with their stay. I plan in reviewing my apartment when I move out next month as I was not satisfied. I found that most complexes are on apartmentratings dot com. Have you tried this site? It was extremely helpful when I was apartment hunting.

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Wow, these are some awesome responses! Thanks so much for the advice!

 

It does make sense that people wouldn't really review a place if they liked it. And that's a good idea to view the apartment (or get pictures) before signing a lease. On that note, I think I'll plan on going to see the apartment in the beginning of August, since the current tenants don't move out until the end of this month. 

 

I should see if it's been written up in a school paper, that's such a great idea!

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