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Rental Management Services does shady business; RMS = BS.

Rental Management Services displays complete lack of care for habitable housing or human life. Our experience with RMS was not only outrageous and unbelievable, but potentially hazardous to our health.
If you're in the market to rent an apartment, and the price seems right, first double-check who's managing.
During the months of April and May, my girlfriend and I began renting from Rental Management Services (RMS) at 3200 SW Dolph Ct., Just Two blocks north of SW Barbur Blvd. The price was right for rent: $425 for a 750 sf 1 br, 1 ba; and only $595 for a 1100 sf 2 br, 1.5 ba. That's really hard to beat, especially for the location!
Upon planning to move in with my girlfiend and her 8-month-old daughter, we gained interest in a 2 bedroom unit that became available just down the hall from her existing 1 bedroom unit that she had currently rented for over 1 month. RMS set up an appointment to view the unit, only they had showed me a unit adjacent to the one that was available (an exact mirror oppposite), claiming that they had "forgot" the key to the actual unit and had promised the exact condition as the unit I had inspected, with the addition of "new" hardwood floors. Lession 1: ALWAYS get a tour of the ACTUAL appartment. It really sucks to be so trustworthy sometimes.....
We agreed to take the apartment, primarily because the condition offered to us was to move into the new unit (and out of the old one) within one day's window, after we were to sign a new lease, and thus avoid being charged double-rent.
This was another suspicious clue.
Our leasing agent Leslie arranged for the (6-month) lease to be signed, only with vital information missing from the original lease: The cats were not listed at all, information that was completely missed by RMS and overlooked by my girlfriend. Suspiscion #3. There was no communication relayed from front-desk to leasing agent regarding this information on original application intake. And so a nice combined pet deposit of $1000 for 2 cats was immediately hit on us at the time of our combined application into the 2 BR unit. Nice of them to at least break it down into monthly payments of $200/mo!
And so the real problem begins: Our lease is approved as of Monday, May 1st, the only day we have to make the move.
Upon immediate entry, we begin to notice a sharp, pungent smell, like formaldahyde meets mildew! Very gross, and as we track the smell even stronger into the kitchen, around the sink area, the smell is so strong it is nearly unbearable. "This is definitely mildew", we thought. Our next suspiscion took place as we glanced around the unit to discover very obvious dirt, dust, and grime spots. After opening the oven and taking one good look, it was VERY clear that the unit had not been thoroughly cleaned at all. We began taking pictures. RMS charges, upon any new lease, a non-refundable "move-in" cleaning fee of $160, of which they say that 75 % of goes directly to pay the fee of a "professional cleaning company". We later found out that the "professional cleaning company" they use is nothing more than the property owner's son and daughter-in-law, a friendly couple in their 50's that comes over to basically do simple spot checks and vacuuming. After my girlfriend made a second complaint to RMS on this subject (the first was originally made for the 1 br unit that had not been cleaned either, and a $160 charge was made then), RMS offered to either have the "company" return for cleaning, or to credit us $40 of the fee. We were so frustrated that we took the $40 credit. At this point we just wanted our stuff in, because remember, we only had this one-day window to move in to avoid another month's worth of rent being charged for the first 1 bedroom unit. As for the mildew situation, we called RMS to notify them of the problem, and they responded with "written work orders must be made in person at our office during office hours." Mistake #2. Go for rental with on-site managment! Their office was across the river, over 8 miles away. We spent a lot of driving time trying to remedy problems with them!
Now the hardest part: after we were fully moved in, our neighbors down the hall told us of recent flooding from the kitchen sink that took place several weeks prior to our moving in. Worse than that, when I had mentioned the mildew stench and the obvious damage to the hardwood floors in our new unit to the maintenance-man in passing (the owner's son, the "professional cleaner"), he indeed confirmed that there was a water flooding from the kitchen sink, and that it had flooded through the floor, down through the ceiling of the basement "shop" of his.
NONE of this was EVER disclosed to us by RMS at the time we signed ourt lease, and worse, my girlfriend had explained to the leasing agent that her daughter was born prematurely, and was easily suseptable to respiratory problems as a result. OUTRAGEOUS! Another verbal complaint was made, yet we decided to try and take action to help remedy the situation in the meantime by spraying the visually moldy areas with a household bleach cleaner and hit the area with fans to help ventilate / circulate airflow. After eight days of waiting for the scheduled "maintenance technician" to arrive and come to a conclusion, we were not even contacted by RMS with an analysis/resolution of the problem until two days after the their inspection was made. When we contacted RMS maintenance to get an answer, they said that they "could not disclose any information", and that we should wait to be contacted with the answer by an RMS agent. When we called our RMS agent, Leslie, she said she "had no idea what was going on". Clearly this company had horrible communication! When we were finally contacted by a different RMS agent, the resolution of the the problem was to: "Treat the infected areas with a bleach solution".
After arguing with RMS about the fact that this wouldn't really fix any of the problem, though he didn't admit that there was damage, the agent had offered us some "hypothetical solutions":
Move us out into a (1 bedroom) unit while repairs would be made, offer us a different (1 bedroom)unit, or allow us to terminate our lease (without any refund).
Another bad sign was the response to the work order that our hot water pressure was not satisfactory. RMS response: "Our technitian found the water pressure levels to be normal. If this was a plumbing issue that needed to be addressed for the entire property's plumbing, we would need to discuss this with the owner to determine whether or not it would be pheasable." In other words, sorry you don't like your lack of hot water pressure, we think it's normal.....
After mulling it over we came to the strong decision that we needed to get out of this lease immediately, as this seemed to be a trap that would continue to plague us over time, especially if we were to have future maintanence issues be simply shrugged off or under-emphasized to minimalize the owner's expenses. It was clear that we were fooled into signing a lease for an uninhabitable unit with a quiet bait-and-switch scheme by RMS. They already KNEW what was wrong with the unit, but tried to play stupid to cover their asses.
After some vital legal advice from my father, we had written a demand to RMS to terminate our lease and to refund ALL of our money, or we would take legal action. They first responded (3 business days later) by saying that the owner would not allow certain fees to be refunded, haggled with us for several days on conditions of leaving, and even insultingly remarked at "what a sweet deal we were getting to live there for a month, rent-free". How could a company be so callous and ballsy to pull this kind of crap, when they could potentially lose their license AND face punitive damages in court? They KNEW they would lose in court, yet chose to be cocky assholes in the manner of handling our serious requests. Eventually they agreed to our refunding all of the requests, EXCEPT for allowing us ample time to move out (to find another apartment): they gave us 10 days to evacuate by the time the first refund was issued (the check wasn't even for the full amount agreed upon; their excuse: "This is all the money we have to withdraw from our cash account.")
I would be thoroughly embarrassed working for a company like this, but there are definitely some "renegade" landlords and management that simply do not care. There was not much concern in their tone at all while addressing our needs. This was a nightmare from the beginning, and is just one example of a company which puts it's customer's needs and interests last. RMS clearly relies on ignorance of it's tennants for easy profits, and reflects poor customer service of it's property owners. If you are a potential renter, please do yourself a favor and avoid this company. The bottom dollar reflected in the rental price represents the quality of service you will receive!

thanks for the heads up 17.Jun.2006 09:12

renter, too

I think I've seen their ads in the paper.
Aren't they the ones that list these unbelieveably cheap rents for really beautiful sounding apts. that don't exist "gee, sorry, that one's been rented"?
Apt hunters, beware.

another tentacle of the oppression 17.Jun.2006 09:23

co-operatist

renting is another tentacle of the oppression. by keeping people semi-transient and always scraping for something "better." we constantly fail to see the greatness in our accomplishments thus far. you with your girlfriend and child, what better time than now to find out how to buy a house? to start a family? to build community? thats what it will take to beat back the governemtn or the rental property management services.

us lower income / less privledged people just pay their way to have million dollar homes in the west hills or lake oswego or wherever. its time to educate ourselves and fight back, even in the small cases like rental property.

i know that its hard, but heres a place to start: PCLT Homeownership Assistance

that link is to an event tonight at the Portland Community Land Trust (PCLT) place to help people figure out how to buy property and keep it out of the hands of the developers and greedy folks that want to destroy community. it happens monthly if you cant get to the one tongiht.


Oregon Bar 800-452-8260 17.Jun.2006 12:39

catherine

If you are low income and have a problem like this, call the Oregon Bar and ask for a landlord/tennant lawyer. They will often take a case like this and take attorneys fees out of any settlement with the landlord. NO MORE SLUM LORDS!

The city or state should shut them down 17.Jun.2006 14:53

human being

you are busy with your life and the baby, as you should be, and the city or state should shut them down.
that is what they get paid to do, while we are busy with our lives.
If you had to handle this yourself, then you wouldn't "have a life," so it's the job of the government to handle this stuff so that we can have a life.
This article was well written, and we appreciate you taking your time to help us out. I will definitely remember their name, and tell my friends about them.

Get on the City Council's Butt 17.Jun.2006 17:18

Marleen

I believe the issue of rent control and renter's rights have been
addressed to past city councils and the chose not to act. Why?

Perhaps it's high time again to get these issues before the
City Council and demand a renter's bill of rights be written into
the city code and ENFORCED.

Issues like:
Limiting raises in rent to a certain percentage per year.
Limiting amounts of additional fees that can be charged (late fees, pet fees, app fees, etc.)
(right now the sky's basically the limit. Whatever they can get out of you).
FULL disclosure of fees up-front.
A right to recind the deal within a resaonable amount of time after signing
(3-days, one-week, whatever)
All property mangement companies to be registered, and a central
place to submit complaints and review all previous complaints.
In other words YOU run a FULL check on the landlord, too - as they
gladly do to you.

In the absence of protections ASK THE RENTER for references before you sign.
Chat with someone who rents from them if you possibly can.
Leave a note on the door of another tenant asking them if they'd be willing
to call you and ask them if they've had any problems with management.
Strangers will often help - particularly if they've been burned.

Much luck.

more help 18.Jun.2006 08:15

another renter

There's also CAT, the Citizen's Alliance of Tenants- a non-profit org. that works on renter's issues (I don't know how effective they are, but you would find like-minded and sympathetic people there). I'd give them a call.
Log a complant about RMS with the Better Business Bureau, too, so others who call BBB will know about your negative experience and that will begin to establish a record on the companiy's bad behavior.

Think about home ownership- the Portland Housing Center has loan programs for low-income people to buy homes and they will work closely with you all the way up until you sign the final papers.

We can't completely get rid of sleazy landlords in the world- but we CAN fight back!

While developers and landlords profit enormously from their income producing properties and then go vacation in the Bahamas, we struggle to pay our rent- that's capitalism at it's worst.

Housing is a right, not a luxury.

be wary of this one 18.Jun.2006 08:40

experienced

"Limiting raises in rent to a certain percentage per year."

If they get this, they'll raise the rent by that much every year, whether there's a need to or not. In Oregon you can live in a rental situation for years and years and not get much of a rent increase. I lived in one place for eight years, and the rent went up only $75 total the whole time.

rent control is difficult to get 19.Jun.2006 11:15

ex-ACORN organizer

Aside from the normal difficulties of getting something this sweeping passed by a city council rent control has especially high hurdles. From what I was told when I worked at ACORN any city that tries to institute rent control will atract the attention of national level landlord organizations. These people, according to my old bosses at ACORN, will open up an office in any city contemplating rent control. They'll use the office as a base of operations from which lawyers, public relations people etc. will seek to challenge rent control through a variety of methods. For example they might threaten to bring lawsuits against a city for violating laws that ensure private property rights. Or they might argue, in the press, that rent control will hurt families who own a single unit of rental property. All while they're being funded by landlords and corporations that own and profit from hundreds or thousands of units of rental property. I realize that what I'm saying is hearsay and its very speculative. I don't mean to dissuade people from starting a rent control campaign. I think its a very good idea and would love to help if there was enough energy/interest. I'm just making the point that it would probably be very hard to successfully pull off.

While I'm on the subject I just wanted to put a plug in for PDXhousing.org. We're trying to come at the landlord problem from another angle -- by owning our houses cooperatively. Our 'rent' is very low and we rely on ourselves and our organization for repairs and improvements. The best part is that we continue to control the money that we pay each month. (You can't say that for even the nicest landlord.) Our vision is to buy up more housing and/or ally with others to grow. Hopefully others will help or form their own coops and we can gradually end the profit based rental and housing markets. It's a long term strategy, for sure, but one that could help put a stop to economic displacement/ gentrification.


I like this discussion! 20.Jun.2006 09:14

-

This is productive and the subject matter of housing is critical!!
We could join up with CAT, and tackle this issue. Forming fragmented, splinter groups is not good for us, but instead it's better to be many branches of the same tree.
I for one, say that we invite those landlord groups to p-town and bring it on. We are right and that's all there is to it. We don't have to beg city hall, we tell them what to do and they are our civil servants and they must do what we tell them to do!!! And if they have a problem with that, then we set up the same types of arguments with them as we would to the landlord agencies--that THEIR RIGHTS STOP WHERE OURS BEGIN--and that privileged minorities do not have the right to exploit others AS FARM ANIMALS. If the landlords want money, then let them work for it, not parasite it off of others. City hall is mandated to protect us from predators and parasites and cannibals.
I say we invite those lawyers into p-town and kick them into their own parallel universe.

I got RMSed too... 21.Jun.2006 13:23

miranda

I also recently had a VERY similar situation with RMS. Never rent from them, they are truly awful!

I thought I had it bad w/ RMS 28.Jun.2006 16:27

West-side Townhouser

WITH RMS - GET IT IN WRITING BEFORE SIGNING!

I really thought I had it bad w/ RMS, but Duncan's story tops mine. I had viewed my townhouse a few times before renting and actually inquired about doing a final walk-through before signing the lease. They said they don't do them and insured me that the carpets were cleaned and the apartment was cleaned. When I showed up on moving day, the place was filthy. Some things had obviously been cleaned, like the carpets,appliances and the bathrooms. But the hardwood floors, walls, counters and just about every other surface of the unit was caked in dirt including food stuck to the walls in the kitchen. I demanded my full cleaning deposit to be refunded unless they could provide me with receipts of professional cleaning. They would only give me half of it back because they insisted that 50% of the fee was for move-in and 50% was for move-out.

A week later, I had noticed an infestation of carpet beetles (destructive fabric pests). They drug their feet a bit, but eventually called in an extermination service. This problem seems to be resolved for the time being.

WATCH OUT FOR SUNDANCE PROPERTY MGMT. AS WELL 01.Jul.2006 13:42

Knight Rider

Also people should be aware of Sundance Property Mgmt.Inc. they have recently bought a new property which has two house's on the same lot and they slapped some dirty paint (and scraped lead paint rite on the ground) on the one house that has been vacant and a horrible new roofing job all done by wetback's ofcourse and put a few new thing's inside, only so they could make more money and I know personally the toilet has been leaking on the floor for a long time and the former landlord told the former tennant's to put caulking around the bottom among many other thing's, so watch out for JTC. Design company as well, there suppost to be a construction company but they don't seem to know how to construct anything, but that's the former landlord.The house I live in is still a run down dump and I know Sundance want's to kick me out so they can do another crappy restoration, to get another 100 dollar's or more for rent in my house, which is probably why they are unwilling to make a new lease, they made a lease with the neighbor's but only because they are paying the rent amount Sundance really want's. I don't care how much they fix these two house's they are so run down they need to be torn down really. Squeaky floor's, bad window's, bad electricity, the worst plumming possible, unbelievable ant and mole problem's. But all they want to do is make money, nobody is going to fix anything unless they absolutely have to. I am sick and tired of these rich people from L.A. coming to Oregon to push their crap around. Sundance property mgmnt.inc. is probably not even a real company, just a bunch of con artist's. The owner rich boy, let's call him Mr.Brounseville offered to pay my landscaper to mow the lawn next door and he acted like $30 was too much pay to get a whole 1/4 acre mowed and acted like he could get a better deal, well why didn't he than, than he tried to hide when it came time to pay my lawnmower man.
That's an example of the shadiness I have to deal with. So like the guy above say's don't rent anything unless you can really inspect everything, look at the window's, check floor's for rotting, look at the plumbing in the bathroom and underneath the house and make sure shut off's work I have to go out to the street just to turn the water off to do simple repair's or what not, look at the roof, look for ant's, check that the elctricity and outlet's work.And if someone is squatting on the property you want to rent DON'T rent go some where else. When I first moved in here there was a cracked out lady squatting and the place was suppost to be availible at a certain time but the Original Landlord's Chris and Betsy Gillette felt sorry for her and let her stay longer so I had to pay rent again at the place I was moving out of and that made it almost impossible for me to come up with rent for the new place, and than they never cleaned the new place, they had all the squatter's trash in the driveway and she started living in a trailer across the street in front of my residence for two week's and Betsy gave that tweeker money to buy a stove for me? which ofcourse never happened, and the phone line was cut down by their retarded worker Jasper for atleast two week's I couldn't get the line fixed because the owner has to give permission to fix the line, They are lucky I didn't sue them.And they thought they didn't have to pay back the deposit when John Chu (JTC. Construction & Design) bought the property, these republican asshole's give christian's and real republican's a bad name.

Kip Schoning- WARNING Marion, Lynn or Benton Counties 07.Jul.2006 13:11

former OSU student

These sort of things are everywhere! As long as the real estate business is allowed to "self monitor" it will never stop either.

Kip Schoning owns hundreds of crappy dumps mostly he rents them to unsuspecting OSU students and low income folks. Not only will the tenants end up living in a dump, they will NEVER see their many fees, deposits or if the move early, even their last months rent.

Even if you are considering renting from a managment company, make sure Kip does not own the house.

The people this scam artist rents to, in Corvallis at least, are poor or students just passing through. I bet few bother to do anything to stop him. He is mentioned several times in an old PORTLAND PROPERTY PIMPS and other articles on this site. I wish I had know more about Kip before I lost my money.

Poor managment 02.Aug.2006 09:55

anonymous

I also rented at 3200 SW Dolph Ct. and before moving in was told that the building is non smoking. It wasn't until after I signed the lease agreement and moved in that I realized the halls reeked of old smoke and moldy carpets that seeped into my old room. Like being mislead that the building was non smoking, I was also told that no pets were allowed. Much to my annoyance and dismay, the day after I moved in, I found dog shit on my porch and heard the yapping and aweful barking of my smoking neighbor's dog. This was truely a shady place to live as I threatened to call the cops on my neighbors for what sounded like abuse and smelled like drug use. I would not recommend this place to anyone. As a graduate student on a budget, I thought this would be a reasonable, cheap place to live and comfortable place to come home to but it proved to be exactly the opposite. For safety and sanitary reasons, not to mention the headache of dealing with RMS personnel, I would suggest spend the extra money for what really seems like a nice place. You'll appreciate it in the end.

RMS "screwed" me too. 02.Aug.2006 10:03

Out of Town Renter

To make a long story short ... .

I flew into Portland for two days to find a rental. I had appointments to see several properties RMS had listed. They lied, bait-and-switched, and generally wasted my entire two days in Portland with their bull shit. At the last minute they said the property owner raised the price on the unit I had selected by $150/month. I said "F-You." This crap forced me to fly back to Portland and start from scratch the next week.

Never do business with RMS.

RMS is bad for landlords too 04.Aug.2006 01:58

Celestine

We hired RMS for our condo in Portland and fired them two months later. They were absolutely awful and unprofessional, communication was bad and sometimes nonexistent. They already have complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Not only did they do showings unannounced, they locked our cats into a closet while we were gone, cancelled showings without telling us etc. We had to hassle to get a pet deposit fee removed - we simply do not believe pets should be charged extra since most pet owners are the most responsible renters one can find. They got us a (pet-less) corporate tenant from hell. They charged us the move-in fee although the renter should have paid for it and instead charged a phony cleaning fee. They had the tenant move in early without telling us.
We told the realtors who sold us the condo to never ever recommend them again and they won't which made RMS pretty mad.
I can only recommend any landlord/owner and tenants to stay away from RMS. Hopefully they'll go out of business with complaints piling up.

Are there any good property managers in PDX? 06.Aug.2006 20:15

Sally sally.philips@gmail.com

I need a recommendation. Looking for a PM to handle my condo.

Personal accountability 09.Aug.2006 00:30

Mommy McMomerson

Let me address this article and it's reasonable concerns. I have spent my entire adulthood on both sides of this issue. I have struggled as a divorced Mom to keep a roof over my kids heads, and most of that time I also worked as an apartment manager as a way to make ends meet. There really is two sides to this thing.

First, let me address the cold hard fact, that unless you have a lot of cash, you cannot afford a Palace. The less money you have the more tolerant you must be of housing conditions and services provided by the landlord. In other words, "You get what you pay for." And, since I am being all quippy and chit.. "Buyer beware" also applies. LOL

Secondly, there are crappie people everywhere. Landlords are not known for being highly motivated to spend their money on things to keep the place up, if they can avoid it. And, really, who could blame them? They have to pay large sums on their mortgage, property taxes, income tax, insurance and basic up keep; one disaster a year can completely take away any profit from the rental. Then add the fact that at least 50% of tenants are nightmares on wheels, and you can understand why they might get a bit bitter and jaded. We had one lady who lived in the building for 11 years. She was quite, paid her rent on time, and was not an issue *UNTIL* she moved!! ::dat da dummmm:: It seems the entire time she had kept at least 4 cats locked in a bedroom, never changed their litter box, but hey.. they never used it anyway! The landlord had to gut the whole room, down to the floor boards and windowsills. It was awful damage, and not uncommon. Also take into account this highly litigious society we live in and wow... why would anyone want to own a rental??

And.. The last and most important issue is, personal accountability. How many people ask themselves if they are a good tenant? The guy who wrote this article set himself up to have this happen. If I had walked into a place that was in such bad condition, even after signing the lease, and giving a 30 day notice with one day left to get out, I would have walked out, called a lawyer and called my old manager to let them know I would be staying a bit longer. There really is a great system set up to mediate this kind of thing. He did not know, or chose not to use it. Any landlord, knowing someone intends to stand up for themselves will make amends ASAP. The can't afford to do otherwise.

I live in a rental house right now, owned by a "Slum Lord." He LOVES me!! I get great service because I don't nickel and dime him to death with small details. When we moved in, there were ants. I went out and bought ant bait, put the receipt in the envelope with my rent check and never asked to be reimbursed. When the toilet broke, I fixed it, and did the same thing with the receipt, and on and on. I called him when the stove overheated oddly, and he was there the next day with a brand new stove. If I had been the average tenant he most likely would have bought a referbished stove, 3 weeks later, because "they will probably rune it anyway." He wants me to stay here.

However, he also knows when I moved in, we did a walk through, took the time to read the lease over in front of him before I signed it, and I took a detailed accounting (including pictures) of all existing damage or flaws, and mailed him a dated copy. Etc.. etc.. In other words, he knows I am not naive.

The reason I took the time to write this up is a lot of folks are young and this is good information. Rarely is anyone a true "victim" in life, it is usually folks who don't want to take a stand and risk "looking" unpleasant, or who want to live in a fantasy world of rights and principals that end up squawking about how they were done wrong!!

Any deal could fall through at the last minute, but not because a management company, or a boy friend, or a car salesman "screwed" you over, but because you walked away, freely and chose to live with the consequences.

From the Property Manager Perspective 09.Aug.2006 15:52

Portland Property Manager

I ask that everyone who reads this keep in mind one main point. All of these situations mentioned are from the perspective of the tenant related to their dealings with the landlord. The landlord is often times the property manager action on behalf of the owner. The key phrase I am stressing is "acting on behalf".

Often times property managers are doing what the owner of the property has asked them to do and they have no say in the matter. For example, the property manager can not just spend the owner's money (i.e. maintenance expenses) without their consent. And if they do, often times they end up having to reimburse the owner because it was not approved, or not justified in the owner's mind.

The owner is the property manager's customer as they are paid by them to protect their investments. The property manager is obligated by law to act according to state landlord/tenant laws, therefore must also treat the tenant as a customer. Their success very much rides on the happiness of the tenant too. But in the end, if it comes down to a decision, the owner calls the shots and is often times out of the property manager's control.

One more Property Manager's response 13.Aug.2006 20:40

Chockley@bluestonehockley.com chockley@bluestonehockley.com

Not every landlord is a slumlord. The City of Portland like many other cities in Oregon has a rental inspection department where you can complain regarding the condition of an apartment.

Most landlords know that if a unit is not rentable thery will not get paid rent. It is up to a tenant to keep it in good condition once they move in.

Many lower income tenants destroy the units they live in. I cannot tell you why. Drug dealing maybe?

In any case there are always two sides to every story and we can take for granted that all landlords or tenants are not angels.

You vote with your feet. If a property is not ready to move into, don't move in. Take pictures and coordinate with Landlord representatives. In this day of digital camera's on your cell phone you don't have an excuse.


I live next to one 14.Aug.2006 12:57

moonlump

I live in NE next to a duplex that is managed by RMS and the weeds are, I'm not kidding, 8' high. There is NO grass in either the front or back, and the management company doesn't even come to maintain the incessant weed problem. Renters didn't even have mailboxes when they moved in and our mail carrier didn't have a clue what to do with the renter's mail.

FOX MANAGEMENT IS EVEN WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11 15.Aug.2006 18:08

TENANT IN DISTRESS

I rented from Fox Mannagement and they tried to take me to eviction court because they made a mistake and sent my rent back to me, and then when I got to the court acted like it was just a simple misunderstanding. They refused to fix things saying that it was not their resposibility and they did not help me when I got locked out of my place. The owner of the building then changed to RMS, which did not turn out much better!!!!!!!!!!
STAY AWAY FROM FOX MANAGEMENT INC. AND RMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Relocating to Portland--glad I found this article 03.Oct.2006 10:45

Mathilda's Mommy

We're relocating up to Portland and will be renting before we buy. I've been browsing Craigslist to see what we can get and for how much. I've been checking out property management companies that post on there to see their other properties. I am really glad I read this story--and I think the way they treated you is disgusting. I have a 6-month old and the thought of exposing her to mildew and mold makes me sick. I will not be working with RMS!!

thank you thank you thank you!!! 17.Oct.2006 16:14

tassie

i am so glad i found this! all of your comments have been incredibly helpful and i now know a few rental companies to stay away from!

here's a new perspective: i was a "landlady" a little while back. i have also been a renter for a very very long time. as a landlords and renters we need to realise that we are in a buisness arrangement TOGETHER. no one is doing anyone a favor. landlords should provide clean, well kept, and affordable housing. tennants should follow the lease and keep the place decent. it's that simple

in the even that, as a tennant, you run into a property management company that acts like they're doing you a favor by "letting" you rent there or showing you a place...skip 'em.

Very Interesting 10.Nov.2006 19:27

glenn kincaid gkrents@yahoo.com

This is a very interesting and believable story. I'm sorry for your experience. I'm a general contractor with 30 yrs on the job experience. Thanks Glenn

RMS tried to screw me too. 28.Nov.2006 09:50

female

They lost my rent check once and then a cashier's check the next time, and tried to charge me late fees for it. had to get copies of the cashed check and cashier's check to prove to them they had lost it. In the meanwhile they were sending me eviction notices for unpaid rent. After proof was given they dropped the fees.
They never mowed the common area, and the laundary area was filthy and reeked of urine. They said the owner would do both of theese and never did.

from a soon-to-be landlord, thank you 06.Dec.2006 14:15

dendroc

i've been forced for employment reasons to move away from portland, yet want to hold on to my condo there. given my politics, it's a little weird to contemplate being a "soon-to-be landlord", but there you have it. needless to say, i definitely DO NOT want to be a sleazy landlord (in fact, i plan on renting my place at cost).

given that i'm 160 miles away, it's unacceptable to expect my tenant(s) to wait until my next trip south to fix something. hence, the need for a property management company.

i had been closer than i like to think of selecting RMS. thankfully, this thread popped up when i googled them.

home sweet home 04.Jan.2007 18:28

anonymous

My girlfriend and I live in an apartment complex just aquired by RMS, in Southeast Portland. Our dealings so far with them have been minimal, thankfully. All of the apartments here have mildew. We have been watching RMS "renovate" the units below us and across the hall with new paint and pergo floors, knowing that the walls are saturated with bacteria. I'm sure the rents are still cheap, but people need to know that these are not places for children, even if they look nice.

RMS -Some PM's better than others 05.Jan.2007 14:27

LL

We have used RMS for 6 months+ without any difficulties. I am surprised to see so much negative written. We do stay on top of them, but so far, so good.
The property we own is newer so perhaps that's why. Anyway, I have a good relationship with our Property Manager and feel confident about their work ethic. Sorry to hear about all those having trouble.

Every Experience is Different 17.Jan.2007 13:44

oddbody

We have been renting from RMS for one year and they have been good to us. They don't own this property, they just manage it. The requirements for renting and the condition of the house is all up to the owner. The management company charges fees and pays for as much cleaning as the owner wants.

We saw an add with pictures for our house. They showed the house we wanted at a time that worked for us. They gave us a break on the pet deposits and even gave us a break on the rent for signing a two year lease. The owners wanted it rented fast so they were more flexible. The people who do the maintenance have always been nice to us.

I think that the experience you have with a rental company is up to you. Get referals.We know two other people who rent from RMS. One reffered us and we reffered our friends. If you feel like a bait and switch is happening, don't rent from them. If someone wants you to sign a lease and you haven't seen the unit yet, don't do it. If you have pets ALWAYS ask up front what the terms and fees are. Different houses leased by the same property management company will have different rules and fees because of the different owners. We have 2 cats and 2 dogs and thought we'd have trouble renting. It sounds like the people who wrote the original story made mistakes that caused their problem.

As for the people who live next to an RMS house with an unkept yard, I don't think that has anything to do with the property management company. I know we are responsible for our yard here. We cut our own grass.

No Heat 28.Feb.2007 11:56

A Nony Mouse

I called RMS to report no heat in my apartment this winter. I played telephone tag
for three days with one of their office people before I called their emergency repair
line.
RMS contracts out all their service calls as far as I can figure. The first repair
person that was sent out didn't have sufficient information from RMS to make the
repair. The second person crawled into the service space and couldn't see a problem
with the hot water supply valve. The next day, a person from a different heating
service company showed up, but they weren't qualified to do service on a gas/water
heating unit (I really got the impression that RMS had NO CLUE as to what kind of
heat was used in the building).
RMS seemed to think that it was my responsibility to be on the premises to let the
service people into the building so that the repairs could be made. I've never had to
put up with this before.
Finally, the problem was resolved after a week.
It just seems strange to me that the grounds are better maintained than the
interior of the building.

We were RMS'd too! 04.Jun.2007 13:42

A normal person

I LOATHED these people in the beginning because they were unbelievable jerks to us.. but they gradually improved once we put the smack down because we couldnt get them to return our calls or give us a straight answer. It was nuts how I would hear something with my own ears, make a mental note, and then days later they'd deny they said it to me...or tell would tell my boyfriend that was not what they had told me. They made me look like a liar/crazy person more than once and our manager stopped calling me back and would only deal with my him which was a nice slap in the face. Leslie was also rude upon initial contact, but became nicer later on.

We too had smelly carpeting that had to be cleaned more than once, and still isnt clean (now that it's heated up outside, the smell is back). After reading the other comments, I wished I had even wiped down the walls upon move-in because it's likely that even the basics werent done. There was also a painting fiasco so new paint never completed, altho it's needed, and the back and forth miscommunication about that was enough to make me concede.....

SO, since our initial move-in issues, we havent had any problems with them altho we definitely took care of some of it ourselves since we didnt want to wait for them. I could go on and on about our experience but I will leave it as: bitchy, condescending, cocky assholes (as he mentioned) who didnt give a damn about us upon move-in, but increasingly performed better after the forementioned 'smack down'.

So there is some hope for them, and I hope I'm not speaking too soon. I dont trust them as far as I can throw them and I'm keeping meticulous copies and details about our deposit because I GUARANTEE they are going to try to F us over upon move-out...which is ironic because our move-in was such a pain in the ass and dirty and we keep a clean, nice home. It's sad that this seems to be happening over and over again.

I wish I had taken this advice seriously... 26.Aug.2008 13:16

Darcy

I saw some bad references for RMS online, but I decided to ignore it because I was so enticed by the affordable rent for the great inner SE location. I've had over 15 years of top-notch, flaw-free relationships with my landlords (both personal and with agencies.) RMS is the first agency that I left feeling that I had been cheated. I was charged about $200 off my deposit for things that were pre-existing (candle wax in the carpet, small tears in the window screens.) The place was in such aweful condition, peeling floors in the bathroom, a constanst leaking pipe from the shower into the kitchen below, and much more, I never thought I'd have to protect myself by taking detailed photos before I moved in. The thinking was, look how bad it is after they just charged me a cleaning fee to move in, for sure they will be more than satisfied when I leave it cleaner and nicer than I found it. Beyond that, the whole time RMS was rude each time I had to call, especially the woman who typically answers the front desk phones. Everytime I had to talk to her she was difficult and defensive as a rule. So although I wasn't hurt badly by being their tenant, I would never ever rent from them again and feel that they are not part of our friendly, mature, supportive NorthWest culture. They should go to my home town of Flint Michigan and treat tenants like second class citizens... they would fit right in there!

Add me to the list of people who hate RMS 09.Jun.2009 21:43

Joseph B. Reed j3redhair@yahoo.com

I have rented apartments in Portland for 13years and have nothing bad to say about any of my previous landlords except that I would never NEVER rent an apartment from RMS again. I cried on move-in day because the apartment I had to move into was so disgusting. We are talking jam all over the counters, smelly things in the fridge, a crack pipe left behind an ugly painting still on the wall. AWFUL! I am not kidding about the crack pipe! When I called to complain they said that so and so had been there and cleaned it and I must be over-reacting. Part of my deposit was a non-refundable cleaning deposit. I had been shown a different unit than the one I was to move into. I strongly feel they knew exactly what the deal was. Lucky for me RMS sold the property I still live in to the very nice landlord I have now. This all happened two years ago, but I still hate them and feel ripped off by them and just wanted to add my two cents to the never rent from RMS wagon. Seriously! live in a cardboard box for awhile, sofa-surf if you have to, DONT RENT FROM THEM!

RMS 02.Oct.2009 13:17

Jon doe

Why do the good citizens put up with these management companies.