Three new apartment complexes in San Marcos expected to open this summer in time for the fall 2013 semester were delayed for construction issues, leaving many students unfairly inconvenienced and displaced.
Although the complex owners and operators of The Avenue at San Marcos, Vistas San Marcos and Millennium on Post should not necessarily have to take full blame for the delays, they are at fault for poorly handling student lease contracts.
At The Avenue, tenants were told to make a choice—they could pay their full monthly rent and stay in a hotel provided by the complex until their apartment was finished or find somewhere else to stay, wait to move in and pay a reduced rent at that time. Tenants were also told storage would be provided for them, or if they chose to find storage units off-site, they would be reimbursed for those costs. Several students were willing to share this information with The University Star, but unfortunately when the managers of the three apartment complexes were called to explain the situation, two declined to comment and one did not return multiple calls.
For students who were forced to stay in hotels out of San Marcos, The Avenue offered $100 compensation per person on the lease per week. Despite this, some residents have still not received the money that was advertised and promised from the leasing office staff. As many students are being forced to find alternative living situations while the complex remains unfinished, The Avenue is conducting movie ticket giveaways on its Facebook page. The complex employees should be making sure its tenants are reimbursed and accommodated first and foremost before resuming activities like giveaways.
At Vistas, residents were offered the same alternative living options as those at The Avenue but without storage or living expense money for those forced to stay out-of-town. In addition, Millennium remains unfinished as the school year begins, and move-in dates continue to remain up in the air for inconvenienced students.
Tenants of these complexes, mostly students, signed leases with move-in dates that were not honored. The complexes are providing all they are legally obligated to, and have offered compensation by providing living expenses and covering hotel costs. However, one cannot put a price on the peace of mind students have lost at the beginning of the semester, one of the most stressful times of the year.
There is no doubt each complex has received countless complaints, and the leasing office staffs have endured the wrath of unhappy residents. It has been a trying time for everyone involved in the delays of these apartment complexes. However, this temporary inconvenience to staff members should come as no surprise when hundreds of tenants are being shut out from the unfinished complex. It is necessary leasing staff members are patient and accommodating with residents, especially during a time when many are being denied entrance into the apartments they purchased.
One institution to be commended is Texas State, particularly the Vice President of Student Affairs office, for sending an email to students letting them know what university services are available to them. It was not the responsibility of Texas State administrators to reach out to students inconvenienced by apartment complexes unaffiliated with the university, but the effort is admirable.
It should be acknowledged these complexes are businesses first and must attempt to make the losses from this incident as insignificant as possible. However, these delays are unprofessional and could cause all three complexes to lose business in the future. The complexes will have to go above and beyond to accommodate residents in any way they can in order to retain a positive reputation among students in the San Marcos community.
In the future, apartment complexes must learn to not make promises they cannot keep, whether in terms of move-in dates or in compensation to residents who have been displaced. Breaking promises makes for bad business and will not inspire confidence in current or future residents.