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Boulder, land of beauty, land of the grossly overqualified barista … and land of the terrible landlord. Boulder is a great place to live, but renting in Boulder is probably one of the layers of Dante’s Inferno. It seems like no matter which company you chose to rent from, you can expect terrible service, insanely high rent and ramshackle dwellings.
To be fair, it probably sucks to have to rent to thousands of college kids every year, but the property managers could at least pretend to care a little bit as each tenant forks over their $1000 per month. Without further ado, here’s how to tell if you’re living under a less-than-ideal property manager.
1. Your place has smelled horrible since move-in. Obviously, you didn’t think your garden-level apartment would smell like an actual garden, but you probably didn’t expect it to smell like a wastewater treatment plant either. No matter what you try, be it candles, incense or a $300 carpet cleaning (sorry Dad!), the smell just won’t go away.
2. It takes your landlord forever to fix even the simplest things. Busted doorknob? Closet door gone off its tracks? One would expect these things to be fixed in a timely manner — maybe not within the same day of them breaking, but probably within a few days to a week depending on the situation. After your third call to the front desk person who has less emotion than the doorknob you’re trying to get fixed, your landlord might even tell you to “just deal with it.” Yikes.
3. Insane water pressure. It seems like all of the landlords conspire to ensure their buildings have undesirable water pressure. This can range from taking a shower that feels like Chinese Water Torture to getting sandblasted while you’re trying to wash off last night’s mistakes. Either way, an activity that most people look forward to will become one of the low points of your day.
4. The trash never gets picked up. Remember that scene in the film Contagion where the trash isn’t picked up because everyone is dying of a mysterious illness? Well, there’s a good chance this film was shot on location in one of Boulder’s student neighborhoods because for some reason, it seems like the trash is picked up maybe once a week. At least that means the raccoons won’t starve!
5. Sorry parents, you’re not getting the deposit back. Even if you hired the team from Extreme Makeover to fix your apartment before you move out, you’d be lucky to get even half your deposit back. Landlords scamming people out of their deposits is so common there’s even an entire page on the City of Boulder website on what to do when you inevitably don’t get yours back. This epidemic might extend beyond students, but they’re likely the ones who get bilked the most.
Seriously, everyone at Grapevine has yet to meet someone in Boulder who says “I LOVE my property management company!” With that being said, everyone should be entitled to be treated like a human considering they’re already paying an exorbitant amount of money to live in a glorified rathole. So look out for these five common signs that a landlord is the literal worst before signing your next lease!