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Art Institute Orange County


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What to expect from AIoC-OC and their Student Housing program
Posted by Neverfall on 05/24/2009
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA -- Somehow this school has managed to hire really good teachers who teach fantastic classes, and then ruin it all with their god-awful administration. This Art Institute will milk you for all you're worth, mess up your class schedules, screw up your financial aid plan, and consistently raise prices on everything. They are a FOR-PROFIT school, and this fact is made obvious immediately. Student sponsored housing is a joke. They sublease apartments from a nearby complex and charge more than double the rent. The Student Housing program requires that students sign away their state-entitled rights as tenants. This means that student housing officials can come into your apartment at any time for any reason. They will also force you to move out at any time for any reason... with less than 3 days notice. I attended AIoC-OC for three quarters and lived in 4 different apartments. Two of them had SEVERE MOLD issues. One of the apartments was infested with BEDBUGS. I have an emergency room bill for a particularly bad mold poisoning episode that I cannot afford to pay. I also had two packed suitcases and a desktop computer destroyed (or possibly stolen) when I failed to move them out in the two days I was given.

Their reason for moving me out with two-days-notice: Consolidation. I could go on forever with this, so consider my review a brief summary of what to expect from the Art Institute of California - Orange County.

Art Institute of California - Student Housing 1 Student Housing 2
     
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Posted by madconsumer on 2009-05-24:
sue em.
Posted by Alain on 2009-05-24:
Is there some sort of state agency (education, housing, university oversight, etc.) that might help you with this complaint? You might want to organize and summarize your thoughts and see if they could assist you.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-05-24:
the two photos attached, to me, do not give indication of a severe mold problem. the one looks like you just need to clean your nasty tub.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
Frankly, it looks like another dumpy old apartment just like the ones that millions of other students reside in.

I'm not sure if I understand your complaint? Are you concerned about the housing itself, or the fact that they kicked you out?
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
Students or not, they deserve a decent, clean environment to live in. Yeah, some students destroy property, those are the ones that should be kicked out. But they should be provided a decent living environment. Students are always taken advantage of...people think because they are young, they have less rights than others...it's not right.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
Well, that's true..but its tit for tat. If I were a landlord, and I had a top of the line apartment, I would NOT want to rent to students. Its biased, I know, but there you have it.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
I agree Boki...but what I'm saying is a landlord should provide a clean place if they are going to rent it out. If the student distroys the property then action should be taken against them for damage. But, cases when a landlord triples the rent due to the location (near colleges), and they rent it out like it is shown in the photo, that's just being a slumlord.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-24:
I do not doubt these pictures portraying mold for one minute. Rentals should be clean when you move in. You should not be required to clean up someone elses mess. Besides, I am sure they take money from you at the end for cleaning--so they are probably double dipping.

While our children (we) were renting places to stay while in college, we tried to stay with brand new places--or nearly new. After looking at some of the conditions around the university, we were amazed at how the students/parents were taken advantage of. The new/nearly new places were only a bit more per month and our kids always left them in the same condition--clean and damage free. The landlords (slumlords) had that take it or leave-it attitude--we left it. Not all students are the party animals portrayed in movies. There are those that have been raised to respect other people's property.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
Thanks KIA, that's the point I was trying to make...but as usual, I got a bit lost and took the scenic route...LOL!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-24:
Thanks, DB. It's actually something I am familiar with--and something that really pissed me off at the time. I hate slumlords!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
Yeah...I'm dealing with my parent's ex-landlady as we speak...finally got a list of what she charged and deducted from their deposit...that woman is wacko, can you believe SHE charged US for a refrigerator that WE SOLD TO HER?????? She charged us a total of $60 for replacing 4 window shades that WE bought and left on the windows for HER convenience so people wouldn't see the place empty and vandalize it? The windows were bare when we moved in...and covered with all window shades when we left and she charging us so she can replace them? I can't wait to see the look on the Judge's face when I get my court date set up.
Posted by neverfall on 2009-05-24:
These pictures show the state of the apartment when I moved in. I cleaned what I could after the pictures were taken, but the mold was already inside the walls and being pumped through the ventilation by the disgusting central air unit.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
Clean and sound, absolutely!

Any rental should be cleaned up before its even shown. I've been to too many (my sister rents) that were absolutely filthy, and can't believe that landlords think its ok to show them like that. Gross!

DB, I'm so glad you are taking her to court. This is one woman who is in for a rude awakening, and seriously deserves it.

For the OP...much of this should have been addressed BEFORE you moved in, not after.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
I think I'll post her list she sent me...a little entertainment for the M3C family.
Posted by neverfall on 2009-05-24:
Unfortunately the admin did not post the other photos I provided. I've posted them to my photobucket account. The inside of the AC unit was filled with a festering mess of slimy mold/rust mixture. The air filter had not been changed in over a year. This was the state of the apartment when they moved me in.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g7/stillflame/SSPX0178.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g7/stillflame/SSPX0183.jpg

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g7/stillflame/SSPX0174.jpg
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
You can post as many photos you want to on your blog and direct people there to view them. The reviews only allow one photo.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-24:
I am absolutely shocked. I think you should take it to the media so it can be made known to the public.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-24:
neverfall, thanks for posting this. If nothing else you've hopefully educated someone else before renting from this place and they won't end up in the same predicament you have. Good luck to you!

Basher, sorry to hear you're still fighting with that landlord of yours. I hope she gets whats coming to her when this is all overwith!

Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
I still don't understand whether you were upset that you moved in or upset that you were moved out.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-24:
Some of the landlords around universities think they have everyone over a barrel because they know that supply does not exceed demand. Sometimes people are just forced to take what's available. Neverfall, get your state's guidelines for tentant's and you will find all kinds of infractions. Use these to your advantage. It's worked for us in other states in the past. You can probably bring the Health Dept in on it too. The landlord will make corrections pretty quickly if they are threatened with fines.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
The school-sponsored housing rate for the 2007-2008 Academic year (July 2007-July 2008) was $2850. Cost includes rent, furniture, water/sewer/trash and electricity.

-------
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-24:
I just noticed that she said they have to sign away their state tenant rights too. I still think the Health Dept may be able to help out with this.

Cheap rent, Boki. Doesn't excuse them from offering clean, mold-free places though.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
Absolutely, knowitall. But the OP claimed that the University was getting double the normal rent on these units.. I think some of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Posted by neverfall on 2009-05-24:
I was upset about the whole situation. I was not kicked out, I withdrew from the school because I was sick of all this crap. They didn't move me out, they just moved me between units for logistics purposes.

The $2850 was for one quarter, which came out to $950 per month... per student. They have 2 bedrooms with 2 students in each. It comes out to $3800 per month total, and they're raising the price next quarter.
Posted by neverfall on 2009-05-24:
I believe the regular tenants (not associated with the school) are paying $1700 per month for the same apartments. They also get much better service. When I realized that I could file my complaints with the complex management instead of through the student housing office, I had much better luck resolving problems such as broken doors, broken light fixtures, broken oven, etc.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
Holy crap! I would have lived off-campus.

Look, I know I'm giving you a hard time, and I would have been upset about the living conditions myself. I just don't understand why you waited until you left to address the situation. I would have been kicking and screaming the whole time.

Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
Neverfall...you can go to this website and "rate" your apartment and you can post your comments and experience with them on here too. You can post with or without your name being posted. You can also use this site to check out other apartments if someone is planning on moving. The ratings come from the tenants.

http://www.apartmentratings.com/
Posted by neverfall on 2009-05-24:
Ha ha, yeah... I was. I made a VERY big fuss about it with them, but it all came back to the contract we signed. According to that, they had every right to treat us the way they did. I signed the form stating that:

"Student hereby acknowledges that it shall not possess any rights as a tenant hereunder"

I didn't find out until recently that it is illegal to make someone sign away certain rights. At the time, there really wasn't anything I could do about it.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
I love just reading from that site.

never, the more I type back and forth to you, the less I believe that you're the kind of student that gives "renting to a student" such a bad name.

I hope that your next college experience is MUCH better and trust that it will be. Don't get disappointed.
Posted by neverfall on 2009-05-24:
Thanks for all the input everybody, I didn't expect this much dialog in less than a day. I'll be sure to leave a review at apartmentratings.com as well DebtorBasher, thanks for the link.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
You're quite welcome...and good luck with your future!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
And thank you for capitalizing the "D" and "B" in DebtorBasher...if a newbie can do it, I don't see why all the oldies on here can't!

BTW NeverFall...do you say "POP" or "SODA"...this answer is very important to me.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-24:
You're right, one of the basic tenant rights in Cali is:

"The right to sue the landlord for violations of the law or your rental agreement or lease."

and also,

"Rights under the warranty of habitability"

If the statute hasn't run, it might not be too late to recoup some of your money. Just a thought.

Posted by neverfall on 2009-05-24:
Ha ha, when I lived in the Midwest it was "pop". It became "soda" about the time I left the Midwest. If I asked for a "pop" out here I'd probably just get some weird looks.
Posted by old fart on 2009-05-24:
When I lived in Noo Joisey it was "soda"...
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-05-24:
how long after you moved in where the pictures taken?
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-24:
She said the pics were taken when she moved in, and cleaned as much as she can.
Posted by Brooklyn Marie on 2009-09-07:
All of the Art Insitute locations form what I've heard are great/good teachers but horrible administration/staff and they are all money hungry
Posted by Eloise on 2009-09-07:
Your first paragraph read like every American College!
Posted by ShamanDhia on 2009-12-28:
I am a former teacher from AiNYC (fired for assigning "A's" to my students - can you believe it?) From what my students told me, housing is horrible. The telephones in the dorms didn't even work, and nothing was done about it. My students told me they were so overwhelmed by schoolwork, they didn't have the time they needed to get through all the red tape to find someone to do something about the conditions in the buildings. If the conditions are anything like the conditions in the school building, they are probably life-threatening. AiNYC has had one student death from spinal meningitis, and faculty were asked to be tested for TB when an infected student was attending classes there. The Ai system seems to be for-profit and nothing else. A corporate entity does not care for individuals. Seek housing and schooling elsewhere.
Posted by completemayhem on 2010-03-04:
I am considering a class action suit against AI for their unethical housing practices. My daughter notified the school in November that she would be withdrawing when the quarter over in December. She was told she must leave the apartment she was in ($1200 for a shared bedroom with 3 other girls in a crappy apartment) 2 days after finals, December 18, and if her things were not removed by then they would thrown out. Needless to say, she was gone by the 18th.
I just received a bill for almost $3000 because she "violated the terms of the lease by moving out early." After going in circles with the housing dept., who could not understand why this was a problem, I contacted Santa Monica Fair Housing Organization and they said if there was documentation proving they asked her to leave (which I have) that we did have probable legal cause.
I have never dealt with such a poorly run school in my life. If anyone else has had the same experience I have, please let me know.
I think anybody considering going to this school just be for-warned as to what they will be dealing with before they lay down any of their hard earned cash for such a greedy institution.
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BEST CULINARY SCHOOL EVER!!!
Posted by ChefLinda on 09/30/2009
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA -- GO HERE!! 5 STARS ARE NOT ENOUGH! GREATEST CULINARY SCHOOL EVER!!‎ - Linda‎ - Today
I cannot believe how AMAZING my culinary classes were! I just graduated this year (2009) with a Culinary Management Bachelors Degree! SO HAPPY!

FIRST MISTAKE was going to Cordon Bleu before Art Institute... I attended the Cordon Bleu campus in Los Angeles and it was HORRIBLE! Cordon Bleu was dirty, teachers were super rude, made no effort to help you find a job after graduating (so I heard) and they DO NOT teach any sanitation or cleanliness.. do NOT go to Cordon Bleu...

At the Art Institute Orange County all my teachers were working as Chefs at prestigious restaurants or had their own restaurants.. which means I was getting the best possible instruction available!

They have an amazing restaurant at the campus called "50 Forks," and it is in the news all the time for being amazing.. the restaurant 50 Forks is exclusively run by students, so I was able to immediately get real world experience..

What else? The tuition was standard for a high end education, BUT the Financial Aid Officers are AMAZING at finding you ways to get FREE MONEY! I am serious! about 75% of my tuition was covered and the rest were low interest loans that I don't have to pay back for like over a decade if I don't want too...

What else?? Career Assistance!! They GOT ME A JOB before I even graduated! At the end of the year you have a senior project that is you developing your own idea for a restaurant/menu, etc.. SO MUCH FUN!

I had my display at our "Portfolio Show" (which is a job fair where the industry people come to our school to see the students) and the owner of a very nice restaurant in Newport Beach offered me a job on the spot!! I am out of school 2 weeks and I have a full time job helping create an italian menu and run a kitchen!!!

With my business training at the Art Institute I have plans to eventually open my own restaurant after some experience...

THE POINT IS: You get the very best training that is MODERN to whats going on RIGHT NOW in the world - You get the very best teachers you could ever ask for - You get A LOT of help in finding ways to afford school, even free money every year!! - You get JOB PLACEMENT!! NO OTHER SCHOOL DOES THIS!!


I love this school, BEST decision I ever made in my life... I was working at a bank HATING my life... I thought everyday, "The economy sucks, I have bad credit and no money, I will never be a chef..." THEN I met the people who work at Art Institute in Orange County and they showed me you CAN get an education right now, you CAN graduate fast (3 years I got my Bachelors) and you CAN AFFORD it because there are SO MANY ways to get free money AND LOANS with bad credit...

I AM SO HAPPY!! In 3 years I went from hating my life at a bank to LIVING MY DREAM working as a Chef with a degree...

THANK YOU ART INSTITUTE!!!!!!!!
     
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Posted by Skye on 2009-09-30:
Nice review. Good luck to you, in your future endeavors.
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-09-30:
Good review. Best of luck to you!!!
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