Avoid Avalon Apartments

I made this page to take advantage of some LinkedIn advertising credit. I said, “what do I have to say to the world?”

The following is excerpted from what I posted to Yelp regarding my experience renting from AvalonBay Communities, Inc.:

I like this complex . . . I was happy to recommend my friends to move in in September. As a nice little bonus, they promise a cash referral incentive of at least $250. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a smaller invoice for November.

When we returned from Thanksgiving travel, we found that a 3-day pay-or-quit notice had been posted to our door, and had expired while we were out of town with family. I wrote a letter to the address on the notice requesting an explanation and offering to pay if we had been undercharged. AvalonBay Communities responded to this letter by serving us with a Lawsuit of Unlawful Detainer.

I called, and over a few conversations I pieced together that the reason our November invoice came out low is because they had applied someone else’s payment to our account. We were lectured that even if they send us an invoice stating a lower amount we should always always pay the full rent per the terms of the lease otherwise we were basically dishonest scumbags begging to be evicted. (I guess they were threatening to evict someone else for missing their October rent, and then on the Friday before Thanksgiving they finally figured out that we were the bad guys. That is when they initiated the eviction process by sending the 3-day notice.)

Okay, sure, this is a bad way to handle your tenants but I just wanted to get on with my life, so I asked them “how do we make this right?”

They explained that because they can not accept anything short of full payment, they would be sending back my December rent check, and that I would have to immediately pay them the back rent for November plus the full month of December plus $540 for their legal fees plus a $60 late fee. I told them I would get back to them, and began boning up on the Unlawful Detainer process. (“Unlawful Detainer” is the legal term for “eviction”)

I spoke with a few lawyers and legal aid and the consensus was that they did not have a valid case of Unlawful Detainer, and that at the hearing the judge would likely rule in our favor: the landlord would have to pay their own legal fees, along with our court fees, we would pay the rent and stay in our home. Since we had a trial against us we were obliged to pay court fees to respond to the suit, unless we had faith in AvalonBay to dismiss the suit after we paid all their fees.

Repeated attempts to settle the matter fairly fell on deaf ears at AvalonBay. We didn’t want the worry of contesting an eviction lawsuit while trying to visit home for the holidays, so we moved out, to an apartment complex down the road not run by abusive nincompoops.

Unfortunately, since we had moved out the lawsuit was dismissed, so we never got our day in court. Instead they created some really inscrutably complex invoices to claim that we owed them even more money. I looked at counter-suing them, either as a wrongful eviction suit or through small claims. The legal advice I received was that this wasn’t worth the time or money. AvalonBay threatened to send us to collections, and I care about my credit score. I held out a bit and without any explanation they knocked $500 of their amount.

I paid them off with a “full and final” letter sent via certified mail. And every chance I get: on Yelp, on my blog, in person, I will share the horrible experience I had dealing with AvalonBay: DO NOT EVER RENT FROM THESE JACKASSES!

Since I wrote the Yelp review, Avalon sent Fair Collections and Outsourcing (FCO) after us for the amount they deducted from their final invoice. I am hoping the credit bureaus find my case agreeable to get this entry removed.

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