Students homeless due to unfinished apartment complex

Erika Conover

Tired of misplacing clothes, eating fast food and feeling like she overstays her welcome, one student decided to terminate her lease with Pointe Apartments.

Audrey Watkins, anthropology and marketing sophomore, was supposed to move in on Aug. 15. However, the complex was unable to open because it was still under construction. Watkins looked forward to apartment life after spending a year living in Sayers Hall on campus. She chose Pointe because of its proximity and the promise that the complex would be new and fresh.

Now, the complex has failed multiple inspections and cannot allow residents to move in.

Pointe Apartments is refusing to pay back her lease money after she chose to terminate.

“I could drive by the building and know that (students) weren’t moving in, but the lack of communication was extremely frustrating,” Watkins said. “Had I known they weren’t going to pay it all back and had I known it was going to get to this point, I would have paid to break my lease in July.”

According to Watkins, Pointe owes her $6,032.14 for her lease and she has only been paid $400. She is in the process of hiring an attorney to get her money back.

“Technically, the way they worded the emails and the paperwork I signed, they do owe me that money because the lease was terminated and they failed to (be ready for the) move-in… date that I signed on,” Watkins said.

Watkins budgeted for cooking meals, but was unable to do so because she did not have a place to live.

“I’m normally a very good student; I usually have all A’s. This semester my test grades (are) a lot lower because I didn’t have somewhere to call home and study,” Watkins said. “I was living in my car.”

Watkins called Pointe in late September to ask for her move-in date. Watkins said she was told the apartment would be receiving furniture by the following week and that things were going smoothly. Almost a month later, residents received an email stating that furniture had only been approved for one floor.

“My first impression with apartments has not been very positive,” Watkins said. “The manager had lied to me and was rude.”

Watkins is looking to rent a house with a landlord instead of renting with apartment companies.

Davis Range, finance freshman,also signed with Pointe and said he is tired of not knowing when he will move in.

“(The company) obviously knew we weren’t moving in Aug.15, and I wish they would’ve told us,” Range said.

Pointe has residents temporarily staying in hotels and accommodated them with a shuttle service from the hotels to the university. However, it is unreliable and does not have a set schedule according to Trenton Baker, marketing junior.

Baker said he was looking forward to being able to walk home each day from campus and get homework done right away.

“Now, I get out of class and have to wait around to see if I can even get a ride from the shuttle,” Baker said. “Most of the time I just hang out with friends and don’t get my work done because I don’t want to wait on the shuttle for a couple of hours.”

Pointe residents must pay out of pocket for laundry while staying in a hotel and depending on where they are staying, the price can range from $3 to $4 a load according to Baker.

Student attorneys will look over lease contracts for free and Watkins said she highly recommends it. Baker said if a complex is not built, students should not sign a lease.

“It’s one of those things that you just have to stay optimistic about or it’s going to mess with you,” Baker said. “It’s already messing with your social life and grades, don’t let it mess with your emotional life too.”

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