Life At AMLI South Shore

If you’re ever taking a tour of AMLI and they try to tell you that the pool stays calm, don’t believe them.

Power Outage

Imagine arriving home one night around 3am only to be completely locked out of your apartment complex with no way to get in.

One night after the power had gone out in the complex due to a driver on Riverside hitting an electric pole, we had to take our dog to the emergency room. When we returned back to AMLI from the ER, we went to the side of the complex to carry our dog down the hall and into our apartment, as he couldn’t walk. As we walked up to the security gate that is accessed by a key FOB, we realized that the power outage had shut down this system and that we weren’t going to be able to get into the complex.

As we were outside the gate trying to figure this problem out, one other couple had left to walk their dog and were locked out and another was arriving home from a night out and were also locked out. With the entire complex being fenced and the only way to get inside being the gates with key FOB access, we were stuck in the middle of the night and not able to get into our apartment.

Shouldn’t this system have some type of sensor that knows when the power has gone out and  still works on battery power, or even opens up, at which point AMLI could bring temporary security guards on board to keep anyone without a key FOB from coming into the complex? There should be SOME solution other than locking residents out in the middle of the night.

Another ridiculous problem here (and yet again, another that could be easily solved, but isn’t) are the garbage rooms.

Let’s think about this…AMLI expected their building to be full at some point in it’s existence, no? Then why would they only leave one garbage room for each floor, all leading to the SAME chute!?

This consistently leads to overflowed trash, which leads to a disgusting trash room. Easy fix? Sure. Add some trash dumpsters to each floor in the parking garage, which is also where the trash chutes are located. There is plenty of room in each garage.

Scary thing is that this building isn’t even at full capacity and they’re already having this problem. Imagine what will happen if it’s ever all the way occupied.

Cell Phone Service

As of about 4 months ago, the cell phone service went from pretty good to non-existent. Seeing as I work from home, this has been a big problem.

After contacting AT&T, I was notified that a test that they had run on their end showed that the signal was just fine and that the apartment complex may need to install signal boosters.

After contacting the office to let them know this, I was told that this was not AMLI’s responsibility and that they would not take care of it. This was even after I explained what AT&T had to say.

Side note, I’ve also seen many other neighbors using their phones outside, and have also seen many other reviews online citing this as a problem, so I know that this isn’t just a problem with my phone, provider, location etc.

Once again, another problem that AMLI took no ownership of, nor did they try to solve this issue for their residents.

MILLIPEDE PROBLEMS

We had begun noticing many millipedes in the back yard that were also getting into our apartment. This got bad enough that we were seeing 5-10 in the apartment a day.

It got bad enough that I emailed the AMLI front office to ask about having someone spray the apartment to get rid of these. I was notified that someone would be by on Friday to spray. However, once they came, they notified me that they were aware that we were having a millipede problem, but that they didn’t have the right chemicals to treat that.

The problem continued to get worse until one point (pictures above) where it seemed like a true millipede infestation. The pictures show these millipedes on the outer wall of our apartment.

I notified the front office again that night that the problem had gotten MUCH worse and requested that someone come spray immediately. The response I got that morning was that it would be Friday until they would send someone out (it was early in the week, so the wait would be long). They then put the onus of this problem on ME and asked that I go buy pesticides to use in the meantime.

The point is, rather than trying to fix an obvious problem immediately, AMLI took no action in this case, and even tried to put the burden of stopping this problem on me. A simple solution would have been to call in an exterminator to address the problem as needed rather than simply waiting for the routine Friday arrival of the exterminator.

But once again, why would they go to any lengths to take care of current renters when they already have their money?

Renter’s Insurance

Per Texas law, all renter’s must carry renter’s insurance. Upon moving into this complex, we purchased this renter’s insurance.

About 6 months after moving in, my debit card (which was charged automatically each month for renter’s insurance) expired, which made the renter’s insurance terminate automatically once they tried to charge the card and it was declined.

I got this notice and immediately called to re-instate the policy. Crazy enough though, this was right in the middle of the wildfires that nailed South Central Texas and the insurance company had issued a moratorium on renter’s insurance. meaning that until these were over, I could not get renter’s insurance.

A few days later, AMLI left a notice in our door that our renter’s insurance had been cancelled and that we must show proof of this insurance immediately. I went to the office to explain to them what had happened and they said that they understood and asked that I bring them proof once everything was resolved.

Once the fires had resided and we were able to re-instate our renter’s insurance policy, I notified AMLI and they said that once the paperwork had gone through, that erenterplan.com (where we purchased the insurance) would contact them with all the proof they needed. That being said, we were good to go.

At this same time, our lease was coming up for renewal and we signed a new lease for 2012 (ouch). 

Days after signing the lease renewal, I was sent an email by the leasing office (at 3:30pm nonetheless) stating that they had not received the requested proof of renter’s insurance and that if they did not have this by the time the office closed that day, our new lease would be null and we would be paying a holdover rate of rent-and-a-half for each day we did not have this insurance.

Appalled, I quickly sent an email back explaining that I a) could not believe they would put a resident in such a situation and b) had already talked with someone from AMLI who assured me that everything was taken care of and that I needed to do nothing more. I then forwarded the email in which I was told this.

The poor leasing agent who was in the middle of this replied and apologized and said that they were instructed by property management to send the communications and was not aware of the past history.

Another example of the way AMLI management handles their business.

Lost Package

Here at AMLI, delivery services like UPS or FedEx will take a package up to the leasing office if the resident is not home.

One day, upon realizing that a package that I was expecting had not been delivered, I checked on its status online. The tracking system showed that it had been delivered a couple days before.

Great, I’ll run up there and get it.

Once I got to the leasing office and asked for the package, I was told that there was, in fact, no package there for me.

Confused, I returned to my apartment to check the tracking system that had showed the package was previously delivered. When I took a look at this more closely, I saw that the package had been signed for by ‘AMLI Leasing Agent’.

I headed back up to the office to let them know my finding. Still no package there for me. I asked how this could be and they had no answer.

In my frustration, I wrote an email to complex management, who gave me a reply saying that the office holding packages for tenants was a convenience for residents and that they were not responsible for those that may be lost.

I replied and pointed out that the package was even registered as being signed for by one of their agents. Still no sympathy.

Now, I understand that they are being legally smart by covering their assess and taking the stance that they are not responsible for tenant’s packages. But COME ON! You clearly lost a package of someone that pays you a lot of money per month and couldn’t even offer up a solution?!

There is a bright ending to the story. I reached out to Staples, where the package came from, and told them that although the order seemingly made its way to my leasing office, that the package was lost. They then tracked down my order and overnighted the same order, which arrived at my doorstep the next morning.

Take notes, AMLI. It’s not that tough.

This Does Not ‘Rock’

One day, I was alerted by my angrily barking dog that someone was in my backyard. No problem…there’s usually someone back there once a week to mow the lawn. But this time, as I listened, it sounded like a team of people doing some serious work. I decided I should check it out.

When I looked out the window, I saw a team of 5 laborers filling a quarter of my back yard with rocks. Why is this a problem you ask? Well, because I pay extra money for my back yard so that my dog can have a place to walk around, play and use the bathroom.

But now, a quarter of my already small back yard was filled with rocks. Dammit.

While this was going on, I happened into the leasing office to pick up a package (and to also ask them how I ended up with a ton of rocks in my back yard). As I was waiting on the package, a leasing manager approached me and said ‘Oh yeah, there’s something we need to tell you.’ I acted like I didn’t know what she might be wanting to tell me and let her continue.

She continued, ‘We’re going to be sending some people to do some work to your back yard soon.’ ‘Oh yeah? What kind of work,’ I replied. ‘Oh, just doing some landscaping. You know, putting some rocks down and stuff like that. But it’s OK, because you’re going to get some really nice plants out of it.’

I then asked, ‘Oh, you mean what the team of people are doing in my back yard RIGHT NOW?’

She was caught off guard that I already knew about it and tried to act surprised that it had already happened. I sense that she was more trying to backtrack and cover the fact that they had taken it upon themselves to make this decision about myback yard thatpay for, without even asking (or for that matter, letting me know) what was happening.

Which brings me to my point…it’s not so much that they put down the rocks (although if asked if I wanted them, I would have opted out) it’s the fact that they felt that they could come in and make a change to the property that I pay for.

Funny, but I’m still expected to pay the same amount of rent now even though a quarter of my back yard was taken over by rocks.

Car Break Ins

This is the issue that has put me over the top and ultimately made me break down and create this blog.

From day one of living in this complex (moved in Dec. 2010) car break ins have been a BIG problem. Not a week goes by when I don’t see a person talking with the cops about a car break in, see car window glass scattered across the parking garage. I’m hardly exaggerating this. If I had to guess, I’d say that there have been over 50 car break ins at this complex alone in the past year. AMLI has even on occasion distributed notices to the community that a string of car burglaries have occurred.

What’s their answer to solving this puzzle? Telling residents through this notice that they should lock their doors and not leave valuables in their car. Oh yeah, and they organized a ‘crime watch’ meeting where an APD officer came to talk about how to not have your car broken into. Really impactful stuff there, right?

Let me set the scene for my personal vehicle break in…

I park on the lower level of the complex, which has an automatic gate (as to keep burglars or non-residents out). Problem is this gate is hardly ever working. At any given time the gate opens and closes on it’s own, while remaining wide open a majority of the time. See for yourself in this video that was shot around 1:30am on morning.

Now, I’m not naive and don’t expect that my vehicle could never be broken into no matter what the circumstances. However, if I was an apartment complex that had ongoing issues with car break ins, I would at least make sure that the things I had in place to keep car break ins from happening were functional at the very least. Maybe I’d even go as far as to hire security for the garage. Or place cameras on all levels and post very clearly to prospective thieves that the garage was monitored by camera. But I guess that would be too tough?

By seeing the amount of break ins over the past year or more, it is not tough to tell that people who want to break into cars have realized that doing so at AMLI is like shooting fish in a barrel. I would suspect that the same few people are committing a majority of these break ins. Why? Because they know they can get away with it!

What’s been done (other than the ‘crime watch’ meeting and information about locking car doors and removing valuables)? Nothing that I’m aware of.

How I Got Here (or ‘Why is someone wasting their time writing this blog?!)

You may be asking yourself how someone could waste the time curating a blog (aka complaining) about the apartment complex they’re living in? Don’t worry, I’m asking myself the same thing (and it took me a long time to get here).

But after living at AMLI South Shore (Austin, TX) for about a year-and-a-half now, and hopelessly looking for someone from this property company who would work in the resident’s best interest, who would fix problems, who would listen to tenants, who would address issues and fix them and who would realize that residents are actually customers rather than profit centers, I couldn’t help myself (this does not speak for the leasing office staff, who are always friendly, and the maintenance staff, who are always friendly and prompt as well).

I want to note that this is not necessarily about the staff at AMLI South Shore. Like I said, the people I deal with here are all friendly and helpful (to the extent that they are allowed to be helpful). Seemingly, the problems lies in how AMLI does business overall and how this trickles down to how they handle (or in some cases don’t handle) tenant and property issues.

I knew the pros and cons of living in a corporate complex going into this, I just never dreamed the cons could be this bad.

Some of the following posts are retroactive, in that they’ve happened previously. But I gotta paint the picture as to how I got here. From this day on, I’ll also chronicle issues as they take place.