CORALVILLE, IOWA -- After being faithful tenants for nearly 2 years and investing $500 of our own money for ceiling fans, (that we also paid maintenance to install, and donated to the apartment, since we didn't need them in our new house) Kacena Real Estate is giving us $82 back from out $550 deposit.
We moved into an apartment where the previous tenant had been evicted for drugs (we didn't know this until after we moved in) and they did not clean the apartment at all before we moved in. We had to call and ask them just to vacuum for us, since our vacuum was still packed. There were already nail holes in the walls, and the closet doors were terrible and would always fall off when we tried to open or close them. We would call and complain every time the stupid doors fell off their tracks, but since every time the maintenance man showed up, all he would do is place the doors back on the tracks, we would just put them back on the tracks ourselves.
Now that we moved out, apparently they are sticking US with the bill for new closet doors, plus the cost of labor, amounting to about $300. The WORST part of this, is we had our carpets cleaned professionally before we moved out (as part of our sub-leasing agreement, we HAD to pay to have the carpets cleaned) and were told to leave the receipt on the kitchen counter, which we did. Now they are keeping $111.00 of our deposit for "carpet cleaning". I have tried to contact them to dispute these dishonest, underhanded claims, but was told we wouldn't hear back from them for over a MONTH. (Trying to wait out the statute of limitations, apparently.)
We WILL be filing a lawsuit against Kacena Real Estate if they continue to give us the runaround. For anyone in this situation: You absolutely cannot talk to anyone about these claims. They require everything to be in writing, so they can ignore you as long as possible. This was the 4th place my wife and I rented in our 6 years of marriage, and the only place we have not received a full refund of our deposit, as we make sure to thoroughly clean our apartments, leaving them in better shape than when we moved in. Painting is a part of normal wear-and-tear, yet they will also make you pay for it if they can get away with it.
BEWARE. This company is negligent, their staff is rude, unhelpful, and non-responsive, and any attempt at kindness on your part apparently means nothing more than you are a potentially easy victim to these people.
April 16, 2010. I have been asked to offer some clarification on this post, I will attach my response. (Forgive me if this is repetitive.)
My wife and I lived in an apartment off of 23rd Ave Place in Coralville. We rented there for almost 2 years. It was mostly a positive experience; it's a quite neighborhood, good quality apartment for the price, nice neighbors. The maintenance wasn't anything great, and the agents weren't very personable, but we thought it was a good deal. When we moved out, my wife and her friend spent a couple days cleaning the apartment from top to bottom. It was in the best condition it possibly could be, and we expected a full refund of our $550 deposit. We found and paid the fee for a sub-leaser to fulfill our contract, had the carpets professionally cleaned, and thought that would be it.
Well, after a few months we finally got our refund check, and it was $80. Attached was the receipt for where the rest of our deposit allegedly went. I don't have the paper with me, so I can't give you specific numbers, but around $200 was kept for "carpet cleaning", another $200 for labor and parts to have a closet door installed, and the rest for painting and filling nail-holes in the walls. I went to go talk to them about these obviously ridiculous charges, and learned that everything must be in writing, there is no one I could talk to, and I shouldn't expect to hear anything back for almost a month.
When they finally did get back to me, I explained that we had left the receipt for the carpets in the kitchen, as instructed. They replied that we didn't use a cleaner on their official list of carpet cleaners. I replied that we had never been told there even existed any approved list, so they changed their defense and said "they just didn't do a good enough job".
The closet doors were the old wooden sliding-kind, and would constantly fall off the tracks. At first we would call maintenance to fix it when it happened, but after seeing that all they would do is set the door back on the track and leave, we stopped calling them and just fixed it ourselves. Now they are charging us for new doors and to pay to have them installed. When I asked them why we were being held accountable for their terrible doors, they said they had no record of us ever asking maintenance for help with them.
The painting/nail-hole filling charges were equally dishonest, as the previous tenant had been evicted for drugs right before we moved in (we moved here from out of state and didn't know about the previous tenant until much later) and he had trashed the place pretty badly. We even had to ask maintenance to borrow a vacuum since the floors hadn't even been cleaned at all and we had our toddler with us, and our vacuum was still packed.
On top of all of this, we paid over $500 to have 2 brand new ceiling-fans installed since in the summer it gets really hot on the 3rd floor, and all that was provided for cooling was a small AC unit in the living room, which is completely inadequate. We bought them after seeing our poor little boy sweating buckets every night after he went to bed, since the small AC unit in the living room could never possibly reach into his room. When we moved out we donated the fans to Kacena since we moved into a new house and wouldn't be needing them. This did nothing but increase the value of their property, and still they dishonestly held most of our deposit from us.
These are terrible, dishonest people. They care absolutely nothing for what is fair, only how much of your money they can take. After repeated attempts to get them to do the right thing, we have been forced to take our case to small claims court. I have heard from multiple sources that this is standard operating procedure for these people. I would highly recommend avoiding them at all cost. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, thank you.
*UPDATE* 6-10-10. I have hired an attorney, Joseph **, to begin my case in small claims court. He has actually sued Kacena before, so that looks promising. He says I have a strong case, for example they clearly violated the 30-day time period when they are legally obligated to give us our refund of our deposit (we had to be out by Dec. 1st, didn't get it until January 25th) Sadly punitive damages cannot exceed $200, but we will also be suing for attorney fees. He also made it known he is unable to file any kind of joint-lawsuit with other victims of Kacena, but encourages anyone else to also come talk to him.
CORALVILLE, IOWA -- Me my husband lived on 934 23 ave for five years. We move out on July 23 of 2010. When we moved out we had the carpet cleaned by the company they want. We cleaned the apartment from top to bottom. When got the report from the mail they wasn't own security deposit back and they have stuff on there that was not true. They changed us 755.58 on a front door that I had paid for back in 2009. And they calm that the cleaning fee is 138.46 for stuff that we cleaned when we left. They changed for the deadbolt locked for the front door two times.
They acted like you can't nothing on the wall because they calm they founded 100 holes in the wall. The only thing I did to the wall was hang up pictures with little biting nails. Don't rent from these people because there is nothing but low down dirty people that only care about money.
CORALVILLE, IOWA -- Kacena Real Estate is the ABSOLUTE WORST COMPANY I have ever worked with. Their whole operation is a joke and they have no idea the meaning of customer service. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY!!!! They will tell you one thing to help to get you in the door and then do something completely different. They will LIE straight to your face. This is not my opinion, this is fact we have caught them in two straight out LIES! If you are an owner and have them managing your property GET OUT!!! They will never have your best interest in mind. There are plenty of other companies out there, use one of them, it's not worth it.
CORALVILLE, IOWA -- Kacena is one of many rental agencies in a college town who assume all students will leave their apartments a mess and plan to keep the damage deposit. When me son moved into one of their apartments we made a list of things that had not been taken care of from the previous tenant, including burned out light bulbs. I assume that person lost the deposit and was told management had to take care of it. THEY DIDN'T. When my son moved out I cleaned the place top to bottom. I cleaned the tub twice, but the yellow stain doesn't come out. I pulled out the stove and refrig and found years worth of grease.
The previous tenant had left a shower curtain hanging. We had taken it down, used another and when my son moved out laid the old one across the shower. Yes, these were all things listed as reason my son lost his deposit. The biggest joke, was that I hadn't lifted the closet/pantry shelves and cleaned the shelf rails. That was the only thing that wasn't spotless. Do not rent from this company and if you do, plan to leave the place a mess, because you are not getting your damage deposit back.