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Lexington on the Green Reviews
My name is Peg Meerkatz; I have Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes and a host of other ailments. I am pretty resilient and have overcome many obstacles but now I am faced with an obstacle I am not sure I can overcome I HAVE TO MOVE IN 10 DAYS AND I HAVE NO PLACE TO GO
The problems started because of my naivety;
I AM AN HONEST PERSON SO I THOUGHT OTHERS WOULD BE HONEST TOO. I was living in Long Island, New York with my elderly mother, last September she made the decision to go into Assisted Living. I was left scrambling for a place to live.
The cost of living on Long Island is VERY HIGH and I COULD NOT find a place to live. My friend talked about moving to Raleigh when her husband retires in a couple of years so I decided to see what life was like in Raleigh. I found the cost of living much better and affordable rents. The PROBLEM was I could not afford two trips to Raleigh, one to find an apartment and one to move; also physically, I was not up to making two trips. I began an online search for an apartment and IMMEDIATELY I was attracted to LEXINGTON ON THE GREEN it looked like a really nice place and they had the International Symbol of Accessibility on the marquee to their property so to me that was reassurance that accessibility would not be a problem.
After completing an online application I was contacted by a leasing agent at Lexington on the Green, Luisa Rodriguez, she seemed very nice and was very helpful. From our first conversation, I let her know that I needed a handicapped accessible apartment in the least it had to be first floor with no stairs. I was told that this WAS NOT a problem. I also enquired about VAN ACCESSIBLE HANDICAPPED PARKING and even sent her the schematics on what constitutes van accessible handicapped parking again I was told that this WAS NOT a problem. I was also told the apartment I was renting had new carpet and linoleum and new appliances
When I arrived at Lexington on the Green on November 3, 2014 IMMEDIATELY THERE WAS A PROBLEM, there was no handicapped parking at all near the unit I was to rent, there was a FLIGHT OF STAIRS leading to the front entry to the apartment, then there was a STEP UP at the door. I was between a proverbial rock and a hard place I DID NOT know anyone in Raleigh or in the state of North Carolina for that matter I HAD NO PLACE TO GO IF I DIDN’T TAKE THE APARTMENT. After meeting with the Community Manager, Krystal Soto and receiving assurance from her that entry into the apartment would be made accessible and handicapped parking would be provided I TOOK THE APARTMENT.
The day after I moved in Ms. Soto, the maintenance manager and a contractor were outside my apartment discussing how to make the apartment accessible. I suggested entry through the patio door would be best and they agreed then NOTHING HAPPENED. Well YES SOMETHING HAPPENED Ms. Soto STOPPED COMMUNICATING WITH ME. I DID NOT matter the reason I called her she was always too busy to answer the phone and she would not respond to my emails. In the meantime, I entered my apartment by going across the grass and in the patio door. This was not an ideal solution because this was difficult to do if the grass was wet and when Raleigh was hit with, severe rainstorms that caused massive flooding there were even days I could not leave my house at all. November passed and most of December with no work being done to make the entrance accessible. Growing frustrated, I found out who owned Lexington on the Green. They were owned by a company called LANDMARK APARTMENT TRUST who is based in Florida but they own properties in multiple states. Aside from a few online negative reviews about Lexington on the Green I found little about them when I did an Internet Search but when I researched Landmark Apartment Trust they had received many, many complaints. A large number of these complaints were made to the Better Business Bureau in their home state of Florida. Landmark Apartment had so many complaints with the Better Business Bureau (many unresolved) that the Better Business Bureau had given them an “F” RATING. I also found that BOTH Lexington on the Green and Landmark Apartment Trust were on Facebook.
I wrote a Facebook post outlining everything that happened and emphasized the LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY despite displaying the International Symbol of Accessibility on their marquee. I posted this not just on my wall but also on the wall of Landmark Apartment Trust and Lexington on the Green. A few days later a man named Courtney came to my door, he said he was from Landmark Apartment Trust and saw my Facebook post he wanted to assure me that entry to my apartment would be made accessible IMMEDIATELY.
He gave me a COMPLETION DATE of Christmas. This I found hard to believe since that was only a little over a week away. A second Facebook following evoked an email response from someone else at Landmark Apartment Trust, she now said that work would BEGIN after the beginning of the New Year because they had to locate underground wires, get permits, etc. I was still VERY ANGRY back in November when Ms. Soto was here with the contractor is when they should have started looking for wires, etc.
Work did start after the beginning of the year and was completed quickly. However, the curb cut they made was VIRTUOUSLY USELESS for the first 10 plus days. They made the curb cut (the only curb cut anywhere at Lexington on the Green) into a REGULAR PARKING SPACE; there was NOTHING to indicate to cars that they COULD NOT park there so cars ALWAYS parked blocking the curb cut. They eventually put blue lines in and around the curb cut and moved my handicapped parking space next to the space with the curb cut, though there are no ground lines clearly indicating a handicapped parking space. Whether or not there were, blue lines marking the handicapped parking space it would not matter people park wherever they want and if they want to parking in handicapped parking without a permit… There are seemingly no rules at Lexington on the Green and if there are any they ARE NOT enforced, that goes for parking, trash disposal and just about everything else.
While all of this was going on electrical switches needed, replacing that did not work properly and a drawer in the kitchen that had been sticking broke. At the end of the December, the new maintenance supervisor and the old one who was leaving came to my apartment and assessed the situation they determined what needed to be replaced and said the drawer needed to be taken to the shop for repair. The first workday after the New Year the new maintenance supervisor said he would return with the repaired drawer, replace the receptacles and switches, and help me loosen the shower nozzle so I could put a shower hose in. The latter was necessary because I use a shower chair and a simple fixed nozzle will not reach. It is now APRIL and the maintenance supervisor never returned to complete the work or loosen the nozzle.
February was BRUTAL here in Raleigh with more snow and ice than they had seen in years. This posed another problem the maintenance men at Lexington on the Green were clearing the ice and snow from the general (common use) paths and sidewalks but NOT from the curb cut or accessible entrance into my apartment. As when I was faced with the flooding, there were days I COULD NOT leave my house because it was TOO DANGEROUS.
Many things were going on at this point, the unclear walkway was just the tip of a very big iceberg; I had become persona non-grata at Lexington on the Green. The maintenance work from December was not completed, an inferior cardboard sign was placed in the parking space assigned to me, and it kept breaking apart and blowing away. There were times I went to the Leasing Office during what should have been normal business hours but instead found the office closed. The whole situation was VERY FRUSTRATING, no matter what the reason I might need to speak to someone at Lexington on the Green I couldn’t because my phone messages went unanswered, and so did my emails. I finally contacted the Department of Justice and other regulatory agencies concerning handicapped discrimination. I DID let Lexington on the Green know I was doing it and the reasons that I took such steps.
Other things were happening as well, I have a neighbor that likes to play loud drum music on full base so loud that it shakes the house and an upstairs neighbor with a bunch of kids who thinks nothing of hammering at 7:30/ 8 o’clock in the morning. I stay up very late at night when I have something important to do on the computer because it is the only time my apartment is quiet. Then there was the day I had a package delivered I was not expecting a package on a Sunday but when I realized on Monday it had been delivered and according to UPS left by the door it was too late SOMEONE STOLE IT. The company replaced it and following the suggestion of Malachi who works in the leasing office I started having packages delivered there. However, this plan was short-lived because a couple times I went to retrieve packages and found the office closed early. They had one package over 10 days and the only way I finally got it is I threatened to call the police and see if they could retrieve it.
In February my dishwasher broke. I was RELUCTANT to file a maintenance request because my other requests were IGNORED or NOT COMPLETED. But RELUCTANTLY I filed a request. Because the sink caused the dishwasher to flood Lexington on the Green deemed it an EMERGENCY, I was told maintenance would come the next day. I waited the whole day and maintenance did not come. When I submit a maintenance request, I select the option that I want to be present when the work is done. They are supposed to call with an estimated time of arrival but because they will not speak to me or communicate in any way, I knew that was not going to happen. Finally about 3:30 I called Lexington on the Green again (I had called at 12:30) I was told everyone was gone for the day. They wanted to know if I wanted to reschedule I said NO I was withdrawing the request I would have it fixed on my own. I said I did not want to waste another whole day waiting for maintenance and I did not want maintenance) or anyone) in my apartment when I am not home. After this phone call, I went to run errands and to eat at a restaurant. When I returned just before dark, I found that MAINTENANCE HAD COME IN MY APARTMENT WHEN I WAS NOT HOME and MADE THE REPAIR. I WAS VERY UPSET ABOUT THIS.
Recently I received a notice on my door from Lexington on the Green saying I owed a month’s rent. I DO NOT believe I owe this rent. I followed up with an email to Lexington on the Green listing the dates I paid my rent. On March 19, early in the morning Malachi called me questioning when I paid the rent. It was a morning following a night where I had not slept well because of the chronic pain I suffer from, I was tired and it was hard to talk to him. But I reiterated that I had sent an email with the dates. Malachi said he would recheck his records and check with the bank then get back to me that was the last time I spoke to him.
It is VERY DIFFICULT for me to get my mail because the way the mailboxes are situated not only aren’t they handicapped accessible it is DANGEROUS for someone like me who uses a walker to retrieve the mail. Because of this I DO NOT, get the mail every day. On March 23, after a few days of not getting the mail I finally retrieved it. I was surprised to see an envelope bearing the return address of an attorney. Inside was a summons and court date Lexington on the Green was suing me for one month’s rent and they noted on the complaint that they asked me to leave and I refused.
They never asked me to leave but that is really irrelevant. I DID NOT have time to get all my banking receipts but I prepared a LENGTHY TIMELINE of everything that happened beginning with the events in March and stating that I felt that the lawsuit was brought in retaliation for my bringing the ADA and other complaints.
I TRIED to get a Legal Aide attorney but because there was so little time between when I received notice of the lawsuit and when I had to be in court; there simply was not enough time. An attorney did finally call me the day before I had to be in court but he COULD NOT go to court with me. He did say that if need be HE WOULD HELP ME FILE AN APPEAL (if I lost the case). I DID NOT think this would be necessary I felt (feel) confident in my defense.
On April 1, 2015 certain that all my “T’s” were crossed and the “I’s” dotted I headed the 313 Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, there was a hearing scheduled in Small Claims Court on the third floor at 1:30 pm. I TRIED to remain positive. I had never been to this part of Raleigh before, in a way it reminded me New York City because of all the traffic. I felt fortunate when I found a parking space about a block from the courthouse. Walking from my van to Fayetteville Street was uneventful but once on Fayetteville Street I HAD A BIG PROBLEM. The sidewalks were like COBBLESTONES; PAVERS, walking with my walker was VERY DIFFICULT, I almost fell a few times, I had a very hard time keeping my balance and the uneven cobblestones really hurt my feet. I was trying to walk quickly not wanting to be late but almost certain I had some time. When I arrived at the courthouse, I was out of breath. A woman opened the outside door for me, as she opened the inside door she told me to slow down and relax, I said I did not want to be late. She asked what time my case was and I said 1:30 she told me I had plenty of time it was only 1:15. Under NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, I would have had plenty of time but now I had to get through security.
I have my diabetic kit, other medical things, my tablet, my phone, etc. in my brief (these are things are always carry with me). Security was going through everything with a FINE TOOTH COMB. I kept pleading with them to let me go I was going to be late but they had to CHECK and RECHECK EVERYTHING. Finally released from their clutches I headed for the elevator to go to the third floor. The first two elevators that came were too crowded; my walker, my Service Dog, and I would not fit. I got on the third elevator. When I arrived on the third floor, no one was around to ask where to go. I found papers hanging on the wall listing the courtrooms. Lexington on the Green had AT LEAST 10 CASES that day. I finally found my name but still not sure I was going to the right place I asked someone who looked like a lawyer who was exiting the courtroom, they directed me to Room 3A. The room was crowded and I could not find an aisle seat where my walker would fit. The judge was calling cases very quickly. When there was a brief lull between cases I said that I did not know if I was in the right place, (I did not recognize anyone from Lexington on the Green). The judge asked for my DOCKET NUMBER then looked over her papers, she said that my case had been DISMISSED, FOUND IN FAVOR OF LEXINGTON ON THE GREEN because I WAS NOT THERE WHEN MY CASE WAS CALLED. I tried to PROTEST but she WOULD NOT hear it. She told me I had 10 days to WORK THINGS OUT WITH LEXINGTON ON THE GREEN, APPEAL THE CASE, or MOVE. I called the Legal Aide attorney that called me on March 31, he was not in, but I left a message saying I DID need him to file an appeal. NOW WE WAIT
The appeal HOPEFULLY will buy me more time but REGARDLESS of the outcome of the appeal I NEED TO MOVE VERY SOON.
I have deteriorated physically in many ways since moving in here. I am CONSTANTLY getting headaches and I have chronic stomach distress even the dog is suffering from anxiety. I don’t know where we will go; I want to stay near Duke Hospital where I get all my medical care. I also know that this does not close the book on Lexington on the Green.
Whether I am living here or not I plan to pursue action to have them remove the International Symbol of Accessibility from their marquee and stop misrepresenting the property as handicapped accessible when it isn’t.