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Riverstone Residential Group / Illegal business practices

1 United States Review updated:

I lived in one of the over 200, 000 properties managed by the Riverstone Residential Group. Riverstone is the flagship third-party management group for CAS Partners.
The below quote is an excerpt from a page on their website: www.riverstoneres.com/credit

"CAS Screening & Riverstone Receivables (CAS SRR) enables maximum profitability through its unique credit screening services, and ensures a high rate of recovery for Riverstone Residential Group's accounts receivable."

I am here to let the unsuspecting renter know how this huge corporation takes advantage of the "common man" - the "little people" tenants just like you and me. Tenants who move into Riverstone Residential managed properties. Incidentally, tenants will most likely not even know who Riverstone Residential Group is - not until the tenants receive THE LETTER. This letter arrives several weeks after tenants move out and will contain a list of phony charges including everything from mold removal, carpet replacement, painting, fixture replacement, appliance repair and replacement, carpet replacement, and so forth.

The Raleigh, NC property where I lived is over 20 years old. The apartment had leaky windows and drainage problems, among other things. The windows and the window ledges grew mold. While living there, I found it necessary to keep a spray bottle filled with a solution of Clorox and water. I frequently and repeatedly sprayed and wiped up mold. Complaints about mold were useless. In fact, I was treated as if the mold didn’t exist. The leasing office was dismissive and said, “Well, when you see window moisture soak it up.” Their maintenance people told me to spray with Clorox. Perhaps Riverstone’s Corporate Policy is to act as if mold doesn’t exist.

However, several weeks after I moved out, I received THE LETTER. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was being charged for mold removal (plus other things not yet described). While living there I took pictures of the ever-present mold. I took pictures of the mouse feces. I took pictures of the drainage problems. I took pictures of the nasty AC unit and the black mold on an interior two-by-four. I collected a library of pictures. All the windows leaked. These windows are not regular size; they are floor-to-ceiling and are attractive. When a tenant moves in, the windows are clean. But soon, these structures start growing fungus. So you investigate. You look deeper. You peer into the cracks and see black mold. You get a magnifying glass and inspect the painted ledges; and during this examination of the dips, nooks, crannies, and corners, black mold is found. You open the windows and inspect the seals, and you see mold and dirt. You wonder how dirt got up onto the window ledges that are a foot off the ground. Then you remember
“THE POND.” This “pond” is located immediately outside the apartment, inches away from the moldy windows. But, this “pond” only appears after a heavy rain or snow.

Next you inspect the kitchen herb window. Both rust and mold are growing in and around the ledges, corners, cracks, and screws. With your camera in hand, you take pictures and macro pictures (close ups). Somewhere in your mind, you know this issue could be unhealthy.

Reader, my complaints are extensive. It is a story I continue to write. My next chapter called, Mouse Feces in the Oven, Cabinets, and Drawers, is a roller-coaster ride of frustration and anger. My Clorox and water solution came in real handy.

Be warned. If you are moving into a property managed by Riverstone Residential Group, you can not be too careful. And really, you should look eleswhere.

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Comments

  • No
      24th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I lived in one of the over 200, 000 properties managed by the Riverstone Residential Group. Riverstone is the flagship third-party management group for CAS Partners.
    The below quote is an excerpt from a page on their website: www.riverstoneres.com/credit

    "CAS Screening & Riverstone Receivables (CAS SRR) enables maximum profitability through its unique credit screening services, and ensures a high rate of recovery for Riverstone Residential Group's accounts receivable."

    I am here to let the unsuspecting renter know how this huge corporation takes advantage of the "common man" - the "little people" tenants just like you and me. Tenants who move into Riverstone Residential managed properties. Incidentally, tenants will most likely not even know who Riverstone Residential Group is - not until the tenants receive THE LETTER. This letter arrives several weeks after tenants move out and will contain a list of phony charges including everything from mold removal, carpet replacement, painting, fixture replacement, appliance repair and replacement, carpet replacement, and so forth.

    The Raleigh, NC property where I lived is over 20 years old. The apartment had leaky windows and drainage problems, among other things. The windows and the window ledges grew mold. While living there, I found it necessary to keep a spray bottle filled with a solution of Clorox and water. I frequently and repeatedly sprayed and wiped up mold. Complaints about mold were useless. In fact, I was treated as if the mold didn’t exist. The leasing office was dismissive and said, “Well, when you see window moisture soak it up.” Their maintenance people told me to spray with Clorox. Perhaps Riverstone’s Corporate Policy is to act as if mold doesn’t exist.

    However, several weeks after I moved out, I received THE LETTER. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was being charged for mold removal (plus other things not yet described). While living there I took pictures of the ever-present mold. I took pictures of the mouse feces. I took pictures of the drainage problems. I took pictures of the nasty AC unit and the black mold on an interior two-by-four. I collected a library of pictures. All the windows leaked. These windows are not regular size; they are floor-to-ceiling and are attractive. When a tenant moves in, the windows are clean. But soon, these structures start growing fungus. So you investigate. You look deeper. You peer into the cracks and see black mold. You get a magnifying glass and inspect the painted ledges; and during this examination of the dips, nooks, crannies, and corners, black mold is found. You open the windows and inspect the seals, and you see mold and dirt. You wonder how dirt got up onto the window ledges that are a foot off the ground. Then you remember
    “THE POND.” This “pond” is located immediately outside the apartment, inches away from the moldy windows. But, this “pond” only appears after a heavy rain or snow.

    Next you inspect the kitchen herb window. Both rust and mold are growing in and around the ledges, corners, cracks, and screws. With your camera in hand, you take pictures and macro pictures (close ups). Somewhere in your mind, you know this issue could be unhealthy.

    Reader, my complaints are extensive. It is a story I continue to write. My next chapter called, Mouse Feces in the Oven, Cabinets, and Drawers, is a roller-coaster ride of frustration and anger. My Clorox and water solution came in real handy.

  • Ch
      6th of May, 2010
    +2 Votes

    My family of four (2 daughters age 3 and 5) have been living in an apartment owned by Riverstone Residential Group (Carmel House Apartments, Walnut Creek CA) and we've had a severe mold problem for a year and a half. We discovered during the winter of 2008 that the walls behind our daughter's headboards were thick with black mold. This is caused by the fact that there is no insulation in the external walls, so in the winter the inside of the external walls is very cold. When the warm interior air touches the cold wall, natural condensation occurs and the walls get wet (as does the carpet up to 12" away from the wall). If any furniture is within 12" of the wall, it restricts air movement and mold forms quickly. It doesn't matter if you leave the windows open, to "air out" the apartment. As long as the air inside is warm, it contains moisture that condenses on the walls.

    We complained and they quickly came and cleaned up the mold (which was about 3 square feet, and thick, behind both daughter's headboards). We didn't have a chance to take pictures unfortunately. They promised to do something about it, but after a year and a half of false promises and inaction, the management sent us a letter saying that the "the problem with condensation on the windows" was normal and they weren't going to do anything about it. We were beyond frustrated by this blatant avoidance of the issue. We told them and contractors over and over again about the problem with condensation on the walls. We have 2 documented letters we sent to them, describing the problem, and specifically stating the problem is not the windows, but the walls. So we sent another letter explaining that they are ignoring the problem and just trying to avoid responsibility. A few months later we got a 60 day eviction notice. No stated reason. We will simply not be allowed to renew our lease (despite being model tenants with no complaints against us). Under normal circumstances that would be retaliatory eviction, but since our lease is up, they don't have to renew it and presumably are legally allowed to kick us out without any reason. 

    We know of 3 other neighbors (left, right, and above) who have had the exact same problem with mold brought on by condensation due to the lack of insulation in the walls. When I complained about being evicted they told me that they weren't evicting us, they were just concerned about our health and so that's why they won't renew the lease. At the same time, they told me that the contractors that investigated the problem said it would cost only $700 to fix the problem and blow in insulation, but "they weren't convinced that it would really solve the problem" so they didn't want to "set a precedent" (so they'll do nothing at all, even though they admitted there was a problem). They were "afraid of opening a can of worms", if they fixed our apartment, saying, "where would it end, we might have to fix others." Simultaneously they told me that it wasn't a problem with any other units (a lie). But if it wasn't a problem, then why would they worry about having to fix other units? And if they cared about our health as their "primary concern" then why don't they care about the the next tenants who will live in this same apartment after we leave?

    It's all beyond absurd. They told me they would reconsider the eviction this past week, and my family waited anxiously, sick to our stomachs about the prospect of having to uproot the home we've made here the past 2 years, leave our friends and neighbors, move schools, look for another place to live that we can afford, etc. And after a week, they still hadn't given us word, despite my asking every day. So I called Sarah Fulk, the regional manager, and she said they had consulted with their lawyers and determined that they would not allow us to renew our lease. Evidently they know how weak the law is on tenants rights and figure it's cheaper to kick us out and face a lawsuit then to do the right thing.

    I'm planning on contacting a lawyer, as well as circling a flyer to all the residents here explaining what the company is doing to us and how little they value the health and welfare of the tenants. And asking them to sign a petition to demand that they address the mold problem and insulate the walls. Also a second petition demanding that they allow us to renew our lease for as long as we are good tenants (we have no complaints, have a great relationship with the property manager and all our neighbors). I'm also going to tell our story to anyone who will listen, to discredit their name undermine their business wherever possible. I doubt it will have any effect, but what more can you do. It's unjust and evil.

  • Mi
      26th of Jul, 2010
    +2 Votes

    My boyfriend and I along with our two kids a newborn and a 3 year old have been leaseing a Riverstone apartment for 4 months since we ve moved in there is visable mold. We did a mold test and found 1 of 3 spores has bad health problems linked to it. They are now trying to move us to another unit but acoreding to the people who have lived her longer then us there is mold everywhere they are just trying to cover it up.Reading thur our lease it tell us we have to clean it up ourselves but you not suppost to touch mold you ll breath in spores.We are in Denver, CO at the Blake and Allison if you read this do not move in at all

  • Mi
      26th of Jan, 2011
    +2 Votes

    I recently had the displeasure of unsuspectingly moving into a gangster-riddled part of town owned by Riverstone Properties. The community was advertised as a gated community, yet had a gate that was not operational so it was left open and unsecured for convenience's sake I suppose. I travel often with my job and over the past 8 years have had NO problems securing short term housing via the internet. Well, never again. Upon my arrival this place was a disaster area. I'll tell ya, I've lived in a lot of places and tolerated a lot of unsavory situations for the sake of making my work assignments successful but this place took the cake. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a heavy cigarette smoke scent throughout as well as pet hair and human hair in the sinks. The carpets were dirty and the washer/dryer were rusty and unacceptable. A strong moldy scent was apparent and a ceiling leak had been discovered in the middle of our living room. Being optimistic, we tried to make the best of a bad situation, cleaned up and settled in. At 11:30pm that night we heard gunshots RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR WINDOW. Not down the street or up the way...it was terrifying. We called 911 and police responded. The next day I went to talk with the management. I expressed that the place was a dump, the neighborhood was horrible and that we feared for our safety. Riverstone exercises policies that are not lenient nor sensitive to anyone's plight. They offered little in the way of remediating our concerns and treated us to the average corporate lingo that's made them so successful yet yielded no results. So potential RENTERS BEWARE!!! We broke our lease later that day, aware of the repercussions, and went onto find a safer, nicer place to live. We are still fighting this one and imagine it will end up in court. Listen, if we, as the small guy renter, is expected to live up to his end after signing a lease then isn't it fair to expect the same of a big time corporation in the delivery of an acceptable product. There are no acceptable excuses tolerated on our end. Why should we allow any leniency on their end. I don't want to hear excuses when I move into a place nor give a group like Riverstone anything like "reasonable time" to fix the problem. It should not have been overlooked in the first place. Period. Live up to your end and I'll live up to mine. Riverstone is all about the bottom dollar...not your comfort. And while this is a general rule of thumb in the corporate world, i highly suggest you take up residence with another group.

  • Mo
      7th of Oct, 2011
    +3 Votes

    I agree and " i highly suggest you take up residence with another group." I recieved a huge bill $972.12 not including the interest generated after moved out, they sent me old file pictures accussed me damaged and dirty, I decide not to keep silent and will go to court.
    So potential RENTERS BEWARE!

  • Mo
      7th of Oct, 2011
    Best Best Advice +4 Votes

    I agree "i highly suggest you take up residence with another group" I recieved a huge bill $972.12 not including the interest generated after moved out, they sent me old file pictures accussed me damaged and dirty, I decide not to keep silent and will go to court.
    So potential RENTERS BEWARE!

  • Mi
      11th of Jan, 2012
    +3 Votes

    I, too, rented with Riverstone as the manager. They are a bunch of greedy, corporate sociopaths. Never again would I even consider doing business with such a corrupt, dishonest corporation.

  • Jw
      1st of Mar, 2012
    +3 Votes

    I cannot agree more with you. I received THE LETTER and we were charged over $700 for things that were in fine condition but they replaced with no specific reason. The people at Riverstone Residential Group are unbelievable; in fact, I think they have a separate department and people who send you THE LETTER and call you with an extremely threatening and rude attitude. The lady I was talking to on the phone was so incredibly making me upset (it was obviously intentional) that I actually hung up in the middle of the conversation (that was the worst thing I could think of doing). I was threatened that if I don't pay the balance then we would face collections. I emailed to all of the executives at Riverstone Residential Group (over 12 people), but I didn't get a single email back. We filed a claim at a local small claims court, and as soon as we submitted the claim, they withdrew and cancel the outstanding balance. We didn't even have to go to court. They are professional at taking advantage of you, and that's all they are good at.

  • Af
      20th of Apr, 2012
    +2 Votes

    Quick question...can they charge you for paint? Isnt that normal wear and tear and something they HAVE to do before someone can move in? I just received a bill from them for over 2k! Paint, and carpet replacing, and replacement of vinyl that was already stained when we moved in. They "lost" our move in report and cant do anything about it. I dont have copies because of a fallin out with my initital roommate who had it. I also signed two people off my lease and signed two new ones on in the summer last year and they "lost" that lease and only have the original with two people who were legally signed off. Does anybody know anything I could do?

  • Ry
      6th of May, 2012
    +2 Votes

    My complaint has to do with RENT. We have lived in the same apartment for 6+ years and i cannot tell you all the threatening 3-day nasty eviction notices we have received for nonpayment of rent. WE always pay on the FIRST of the month - NEVER missed and yet today we received that NASTY, DEGRADING THREATENING LETTER AGAIN. We didnt opt to resign a lease because we are hoping to move into a larger place in a few months. So, naturally a month-to-month is a couple hundred more, which we were aware, and our CASHIERS CHECK was for the NEW higher amount which we got from the management since our utility bill hadnt arrived before rent due ---AS USUAL!! So when we got the E-notice on our door ON A SUNDAY, WHEN REGULAR OFFICE STAFF IS IN HIDING, we had NO ONE to complain to and IMMEDIATELY fix the problem. We must wait, blood pressure BOILING to talk to staff at THEIR convenience in the morning!!! We have our receipt, of course for the check, but no receipt from the office...still trusting after all these years. Never again. Maybe I will get their thumbprint ALSO EACH MONTH. GRRRRRRRRR!!

  • An
      24th of May, 2012
    +2 Votes

    this same thing happend to me. after 2 months of moving out, i received a "letter" claiming i owed over $1000! stupidly i paided, got a letter saying that i fullfilled everything and then again, 2 months later i got another "letter"! i went thru some situations that lead to losing many important documents and those were included. they have now reported on my credit that i owe them money and cant get into an apt anywhere in seattle becasue of thses low lifes. i am a 22 yo that has tried to do it all right, paid theyre money, shut up, and truely did leave a clean unit originally and believe i shouldnt have to experience this. its causing issues in my relationship now becasue im unrentable to. does anyone have one of thses "letters" still that they could pssobly copy for me so i can have SOMETIHING to help prove my case. anything is appreciated.

  • Ka
      12th of Jun, 2012
    +2 Votes

    Wow, people! I'm going through this right NOW!! I am infuriated and am unwilling to pay these charges. Does ANYONE have ANY advice on what our recorse is? Do we have a case if we submit this to small claims?? ALSO, an idea is that with all of these people and incidences, we have enough leverage to file a Class Action Lawsuit against this nasty corporation. Any advice??????!

  • Ka
      13th of Jun, 2012
    +2 Votes

    Not sure why my post has all that mumbojumbo, I meant to say I'm...

  • Su
      16th of Jun, 2012
    +2 Votes

    Riverstone bought the property I'm have been leasing at for 3 years. They raised my rent over $100 dollars in a year. So I gave notice and decided to move out. Well, Riverstone doesn't honor the "normal wear and tear" of apartments. I even had the leasing agent tell me the Idaho law required that the tenant pay for the carpet cleaning and deodorizing - it had to come out of my deposit. That is a lie. They billed me for 4 gallons of paint. I lived in a 700 sq. ft apartment - 4 gallons of paint would have painted that apartment 10 times. The carpet was poorly installed - it was coming apart at the door, beside the fireplace and by the bathroom. I had complained and asked for this to be fixed long before I moved out but they never fixed it. I also asked for the caulking in the tub to be replaced as it was all wrinkled and coming apart - they never fixed it either. What pissed me off the most was that they claimed they couldn't find my move in inspection. I noted the different shades of paint in the bathroom, the dings in the walls in the kitchen, the front of the bathroom cupboard where someone had used a can of spray paint to paint the cupboard and it had ran down the front. They kept referring to the place as "luxury". It's anything but. I suggest people start filing complaints with their Attorney Generals office. Also write to the fair housing board in your state. Write to your representatives, the local paper. Don't sit quietly and let these sharks steal your money. The sent my son a bill for $800 when he moved out of his apartment. They charged him for paint, labor, mileage to purchase the paint, carpet cleaning, deodorizing, sanitizing of the bathtub and shower (now what the hell is that??). His apartment was not dirty when he moved out, I had cleaned it for him. Riverstone is nothing but trouble. Stay as far away from them as possible. I've filed a complaint with the AG of Idaho and I've also written to our fair housing department and I'm not stopping there. I will keep complaining and keep writing letters until someone listens.

  • Jo
      5th of Jul, 2012
    +1 Votes

    I am dealing with this myself. About 3 weeks after I moved into my new place, i got a bill from Riverstone saying that i owed them $600 for their having to replace the carpet. The representative I spoke with on the phone was very threatening and rude with me. At one point during the conversation, he said that if worst comes to worst they will "make me pay it." I then asked him, "can you elaborate on how you're going to "make me pay it" -- and further said "what, are you going to send your thugs after me?" After I said this, the representative said, "ok, now you're starting to piss me off, " and he hung up the phone on me. My question is this...what happens if i refuse to pay this fine? I even paid a $145 cleaning fee to the apt complex incase i wsnt able to thoroughly clean the unit myself. Of course he had no idea about this and acted like it never happened. It seems to me like they're just trying to go after people to see if they can get anyone to cough up money. Is there anyone here that refused to pay this "fine?" And if so, how did that all play out?

  • Ka
      5th of Jul, 2012
    0 Votes

    I filed to take them to small claims court today after receiving a $1, 300 bill that they refused to negotiate. They are disgusting in every way & I will let you know how it goes. They aren't legally able to do this & we are not responsible for paying their decisions to replace carpet, repaint, put new fixtures in, etc.

  • Jo
      5th of Jul, 2012
    0 Votes

    Thank you for your response KarliE...I am interested in hearing how that goes and I wish you luck. I was amazed to see how many complaints there are online concerning this property group. Something obviously isnt right with these people.

  • Ti
      10th of Jul, 2012
    +1 Votes

    I got a $1300 bill earlier in the year for them having to replace the 2 year old carpet because it was "cheaper to replace than to repair". There were no stains, no tears, no burns, and the ONLY reason they had listed on the invoice was "severe dark fiber abrasion wear". It was cheap carpet and it turns darker in high traffic areas, which to me seems like it falls under the normal wear and tear clause. We had a lawyer send a letter disputting the claim, and they fired back saying that they actually billed us for the wrong unit and the wong amount, and that we actually owed only $600. Putting aside the fact that if we would have paid the claim right away we would have over paid by double, they still have a sketchy reason for billing us in the first place. Then a month ago they had a thug call up and try and bully our lawyer, saying things like he doesnt know the law and he wasn't looking after the best interest of his clients, despite the fact that this thug was not a lawyer herself. And after still refusing to pay, Riverstone sent the bill to collections, which then contacted us saying we owe over $600. We feel like we have a good case to take them to court, but frankly I'm just sick of the whole situation and am tempted to just pay and get this over with.

  • Ka
      10th of Jul, 2012
    0 Votes

    TiredOfTheB.S.: TAKE THEM TO SMALL CLAIMS!! They obviously respond to the legal challenge, and it's at least worth a try. You have $600 to either lose or keep and you are entitled to that money. This is what they do to everyone they think they can take advantage of, look how many complaints there are on just this sight alone--it's alarming. They charge people these fees in hopes people will just pay to get it over with, they have nothing to lose by just sending people bills that the people are by no means responsible for paying (other than their reputation, but it doesn't seem they care too much about that anyway). Don't give up, take them to small claims.

  • Lm
      10th of Jul, 2012
    +1 Votes

    RRG also sells your data, real time, to Experian. All RRG communities partner with Experian to capture your monthly payment behavior. Not bad if you are a good resident...or is it? If your data is incorrect due to false charges or other out of the ordinary management by the office staff of Riverstone, it immediately shows up on your credit report. Riverstone Residential Group's screening system uses Experian based credit reports to approve or disapprove your rental at any community. Therefore, if you leave one apartment community under the circumstances described in this complaint, then your credit score already reflects this real time even while you try to go through the legal process of fighting with them. You will most likely be automatically declined to rent at another Riverstone managed property or have a hard time renting elsewhere, due to the real-time updates to your score, via Experian, which Riverstone uses to approve or decline your application.

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