Saturday, January 19, 2013


I generally try to be even-handed. If I get great service I like to spread the word. If I have lots of issues with a place I like to do the same.

Enter our experience here.

When Adam and I were returning to Cedar City from South Korea we had a really difficult time trying to find a pet-friendly place to live. I enlisted the help of my little sister, and she was able to do some great footwork for us. She found an apartment that let us keep Ojo, and was within our price-range. The neighborhood was less-than desirable, but our actual neighbors were wonderful.

That said, I felt unsettled about the rental company, Century 21 Prestige Realty. The woman we were actually in touch with in Korea mysteriously quit, so we dealt with her new, untrained replacement. She was nice enough, and we didn't have any real problems. Then, when Adam went in to pay the rent the following month she was gone, too.

We always paid our rent on time, reported all the issues we had, took care of the apartment, and even cleaned up after our dog every time he went out (not something we can say the same about the rest of the pet owners). But the uneasy feeling lingered.

At the end of October we decided to give notice when we paid rent at the first of November. We reviewed our contract and made sure we wouldn't be violating any terms. So Adam gave notice in writing when he paid rent. We agreed to be out of the apartment by November 27.

We actually had everything moved out by November 25, and spent the last two days cleaning top to bottom. We even shampooed all the carpets. The morning of the 27 I had the keys to the apartment, storage closet, garage, and mailbox, and the garage door opener to Prestige Realty by 8:30am. We gave them our forwarding address, and I was told by the woman at the desk that she would file the paperwork and we should expect a deposit in two weeks. I waited until the week before Christmas and still hadn't heard anything I called the office. Nobody answered. I left a message. Two calls. Two messages. No response. The day after Christmas I received a call back. The woman told me she would pass our information on to the owner because he was the one who actually held the deposit.

Questions I should have asked at the time: Why hadn't this happened sooner? And, how long would it take?

Fast-forward to January 8 with no word. I called again. They said: The owner had been sick and didn't have time to check the apartment yet. It would be two days at the most until a check would be in the mail, and she would personally call me. The two days later, and no call came. I called. The owner was out of town. It shouldn't be more than a week, and they would call. Nobody called. I called again. The owner was trying to move equipment from Kanarraville and was supposed to stop by the office; she would try to call him and then call me right back. It wouldn't be more than 10 minutes. She never called back. I called again. She put me on hold, came back and said the owner would be coming in tomorrow, and she would call me so I could pick up the check. Can you guess? She didn't call. I tried calling them well before closing. Nobody answered. I left a message. Nobody has called back.

In short, we are now at January 19, only eight days away from having been moved out for two months, and we STILL don't have our deposit back. Not only do we not have a deposit back, we keep getting the run-around about getting it back, and without going a legal route have no recourse for getting our money back any sooner. What's more aggravating is that if the shoe was on the other foot, if we had taken this long to pay the deposit or the first month's rent, we would have been long-evicted by now.

So we're spreading the message by word of mouth. After seven (there is a record of each and every one on my phone) calls, a myriad of excuses, nearly two months, and absolutely no progress it seems our battle has just begun. If this is the level of service you expect or the kind of business you'd like to experience then by all means, we recommend them. But if you find timely responses, follow-through with what you've been told, problem solving, or straight-forward communication to be solid business practice then we only have one recommendation for you: do not do business with Prestige Realty. Beyond that, it's generally considered polite to forewarn people you like, even remotely, about things you know to be bad for them. That's why we're sharing this story with you. We hope you'll do the same.

For those of you who might be curious about any repercussion for me publishing this: the first point of libel, burden of proof resting on the accuser, is that a false statement was made.