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Apartment tenants' 'rent-free' offer nearly costs them

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(Source: KTVK/KPHO) (Source: KTVK/KPHO)
(Source: KTVK/KPHO) (Source: KTVK/KPHO)
(Source: KTVK/KPHO) (Source: KTVK/KPHO)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

It's pretty common for apartment complex management to offer incentives in order to get potential tenants to live there. In this case it was a month's free rent being offered to three women.

"We viewed this exact model, and we liked it right away," Angelica Jimenez said.  

Jimenez and her roommates were happy to finally have a place of their own.

“My favorite part was the kitchen, because it's open. It’s not crowded," she said. 

The three Phoenix women liked what they saw when initially shopping for an apartment and considered signing a lease with Jamestown Apartments, which Jimenez said offered a great incentive at the time.

"Right off the bat we were offered $300 off our move-in," she said. 

Not bad, and the news got better when, according to Jimenez, the apartment manager offered them one more incentive to sign a lease.

"The leasing manager we were signing with also informed us that we had December's first month rent-free," she said. 

The three roommates paid just over $500 for what they thought was their pro-rated November rent. However, just a few weeks later the roomies got surprising news. It was a notice from the Jamestown Apartment indicating the three failed to pay their $809 rent for December.

"We thought we were getting the first month rent-free, and then the notice was on the door for late payment," Jimenez said. 

Jimenez and her roommates were confused. The rental agreement clearly stated no rent would be charged for December, plus it said they were given an $809 concession, a document signed by the apartment manager.

"I’m like, 'What the heck is this?'" Jimenez said. 

Management demanded the new tenants pay $983.27 or face eviction. That's when Jimenez reached out to 3 On Your Side.

"We really came to you guys to get some attention on it, and also to get these charges dismissed," she said. 

Once 3 On Your Side got involved the management company that runs Jamestown Apartments told us that the apartment manager "made an error in the way they showed it on the agreement, and therefore they have honored the $809 concession."

That's great news for Jimenez and her roommates.

"We’re young, we go to school, we're working, we're doing our thing, and this isn't really the time for problems like this," she said. 

The $500 the women paid when they signed the lease was for deposits rather than November rent. That kind of confused matters, but the women said they're certainly glad we were able to get to the bottom of things.

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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