Kacena Real Estate Management LLC is Blatantly Dishonest
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.
-*EDIT*- 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
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
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
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, thank you.
I have hired an attorney,Joseph Moreland, 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.