If you are a resident of a poorly-run community and can't seem to get the company's attention with a simple phone call, office visit, or letter then maybe putting your money in escrow might help. Do consult with a real estate attorney about this before you do it. However, if the lease is almost up, consider going month-to-month until you can find a better place. Remember to give a 30 or 60 day notice with management, but check your lease because timeframes vary with many companies.
Issues that will grow into bigger ones causing you and others to run away, especially if one is experiencing all of these:
1. Unreasonable increases in rent.
2. Slow and unskilled maintenance workers.
3. Weird odors that never seem to go away.
4. Inconsistent or short office hours.
5. Rude and/or lazy management and staff i.e.) don't smile, return phone calls, impatient, etc.
6. Insect problems.
7. Dirty common areas.
8. Unruly children.
9. Strangers using facilities i.e.) laundry room, pool areas, etc.
10. Robberies and other crime.
11. Worn carpets.
12. Air conditioning or heating units that don't work properly.
13. Problematic kitchen cabinets and drawers, doors, etc.
14. Residents who break the rules, no consequences.
15. Outdated amenities i.e.) stoves, refrigerators, countertops, faucets, tubs, shower doors, etc.
16. Pet noise and waste.
17. Garbage area pile-ups.
18. Frequent misplaced or lost packages.
19. Inoperable gym equipment.
20. Smokers who stand in breezeways, in front of neighbor's door ways...smoking.
People don't stay where they don't feel at peace. The community manager and staff's responsibility is to ensure their residents' comfort. If more people would quit settling for simple issues that could easily be fixed, maybe property management companies would step it up. Check housing laws usually provided by your local housing rights office and also review your lease.
Nicholl McGuire, former apartment community manager and leasing consultant.