Shea Properties/City Lights Apartment / Place is Liars and Thieves, DO NOT MOVE HERE!!!

1 5000 City Lights Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA, United States Review updated:
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Shea Properties/City Lights Apartments:

This place is a complete scam. They will tell you what you want to hear
just to get you to move in. Once you do move in, management is extremely
rude, unfriendly, and not willing to help resolve any issue at hand. They completely disregard you. Shea Properties and their management team are a bunch of liars and thieves. I will give you a break down of how they do this.

When we moved in 3 1/2 years ago, the Security deposit was only $199. They agent who leased this to us (Joe) said that was the deposit and any deductions would be made from that $199 upon move out. I asked if there would be more out of pocket expense...he said NO! Guess what, we moved out and we got an additional bill for $275. The agent we spoke with at City Lights (Jesse Haxton) said that ALL of their agents say that. I found it strange that he admitted that all their agents say this. What happened about honesty and integrity? They are trying to charge us for normal wear and tear. Under CA state law, the apartment MUST be painted after 2 years anyway. They are trying to charge us for painting an accent wall even though they legally have to paint anyway. They also are trying to charge us for carpet replacement when the Pre Inspection walk thru did not mention this in the least. Jesse told us that once the Repair man ACTUALLY inspects it in person is when they determine if it needs replacing. I found this convenient that "it needed replacing" after we already turned in the keys.

When you pay rent, is the rent always the same no matter how many days are in the month?? Of course it is. Now, when we went to move out, we gave our 30-Day notice. We moved out in February. Management for Shea stated that since there are 29 days in February this year, they will divide the number of days by that particular number opposed to the standard 30. So they ripped an additional $56 dollars there.

When they were showing a potential tenant the outside our our unit, WE invited them in to see it for themselves. They agent just stood there. I pretty much helped lease this place for them. Did we get any gratuity from Shea or City Lights?? Of course not...just a bill for $275.

This place is a complete scam. They will tell you what you want to hear just to get you to move in. Once you do move in, management is extremely rude, unfriendly, and not willing to help resolve any issue at hand. They completely disregard you. I will further my efforts and post this across any complaint board. I know they are a large company, and my complaint probably doesn't mean much...the only thing I can hope for is that they do, in fact, lose clients to another management company.

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  • Sh
      18th of Apr, 2012

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I work for the Shea corporate office and have been in contact with the property staff and have drafted the attached response to your concerns. I would first like to thank you for living at City Lights Apartments for 3.5 years. Being such a longtime resident, you must have enjoyed your experience at the community so I’m sorry to hear about your recent frustrations.

    We take pride working for a company that supports their vision, mission and values and Honesty and Integrity are one of our core values so I’m concerned that you feel that you were misled by our associates. At move-in, a lease is presented that outlines all the rules and regulations of the community. All new residents must read and sign this lease in order to move-in to the community. Our lease clearly states that deposits will be used toward any damages that are required to remedy the condition of the apartment or a resident’s rental account. The lease does not state that the deposit will be the only balance charged for damages.

    Next, our leasing team and management associates abide by the rules set forth by the company and provide our residents with the highest standards in customer service. To ensure the quality of our service for current and future residents, we conduct regular ‘secret shops’ which rate the leasing specialist’s customer service and consistency based on a set of standards determined by upper management and the property management industry.

    In addition, we hire a third party company named SatisFacts Research LLC to conduct an annual customer satisfaction survey and City Lights was recently awarded a “Superior” Award by our existing residents. This is the sixth year in a row that City Lights has achieved this Superior Award and we are proud that our residents feel good enough about our property and service to rate us so highly.

    Regarding your pre-move out inspection concerns, our service managers are upfront and fair. We will assess the condition of the apartment while a resident’s belongings are still in the apartment. Unfortunately we cannot always see all the repairs required during the preliminary inspection, unless something is brought to our attention. Residents are also afforded the opportunity to review the walk results prior to move out with our Service or Community Manager for a better understanding of our findings and expectations. In reference to the painting concerns, we do not typically charge for painting after two years of residency; this is the expected lifetime of the paint that was in the apartment when a resident moved in. However, if the property was altered and requires work above and beyond our paint standard (accent walls, for instance) a resident will receive charges for those excessive repairs. If a resident did not properly prepare an accent wall upon move-out, it may require additional painting, which will be charged back to the resident. Residents are responsible for returning the apartment in a condition similar to move-in, minus wear and tear. Accent walls are an exception to the standard paint expectation and are a modification that should be approved through the leasing office prior to the alteration.
    Finally, we do require a 30 day notification when a resident decides to move-out. The daily rate can vary depending on which month a resident chooses to move-out. If we are pro-rating for a limited number of days in a given month, it would be automatically calculated by our software system for a daily rate, based on the monthly rent divided by the number of days in that month. This is standard practice.
    We are always striving to create a long lasting relationship with our residents and stand behind our properties and the Shea Brand. If you are ever dissatisfied while you are living at one of our communities, I would recommend that you contact the Community Manager. If after you talk with the Community Manager, you are still dissatisfied, please contact our corporate offices at 949-389-7217 and our Property Administrator would be happy to assist you.

    We truly appreciate your feedback and are always discussing changes to make Shea Apartment Communities a better place to live.

    -2 Votes
  • Td
      18th of Apr, 2012

    In the 3.5 years, we had nothing but complaints with the management staff. Furthermore, when it came to renew the lease back in 2011, we received a letter from the office in May stating that we needed to make a decision by July 25th if we wanted to get the discount rent. However, on June 18th, we received another note that said that the office made an error and we have until June 25th to make a decision when we already had a letter stating that it would be in July. Management said that they wouldn't accept the first letter and put pressure on us to make a decision in a week's time when we thought we had another month. Shea Properties and their practices are shady in nature. I have no problem putting Shea on blast for all they wrong they do to their tenants. This will continue until our matter is resolved...

    In regards to the additional money owed not being on the lease, YOUR agent Joe told us that the DEPOSIT would cover any damages for the exception if we "burned the place down." I asked if additional money would be required, he told us NO and the $199 covered it. Your agents and company are shady. Like I mentioned, I will continue to post and blog about your company's terrible antics until our issue is resolved...

    +2 Votes
  • St
      18th of Apr, 2012

    I used to live there too I left because they constantly had water leaks. My daughter was always sick there could have been mold there. Shea is lucky I didn't sue them. But yes i agree with you, once they get you to sign that lease the staff are complete jerks! they do not work with you for ANYTHING! definitely never made me feel like a valued resident. I would never ever move back to city lights nor would i EVER move to any other Shea properly management facility. this company is known for being a**holes

    +2 Votes
  • Td
      19th of Apr, 2012

    Sorry to hear about your experience, Stacey...I certainly appreciate the post to help expose Shea Properties...

    +1 Votes
  • Sh
      3rd of May, 2012

    Again, we truly apologize that you feel you have been treated unfairly. We would like to sit down and discuss your issues further. Please contact Mark Brubaker, Shea Apartment Communities Regional Manager, to further assist you in resolving this matter. He can be reached through email: mark.[protected] or phone: 949/389-7000.

    0 Votes
  • Td
      29th of May, 2012

    Of course, after several calls, messages, and email attempts, this "Mark Brubaker" has failed to call me or email me back. Again, this just shows how shady Shea Properties is. Since he will not reply or try to resolve this issue, I suppose I will have to go the route with my Real Estate Attorney. I didn't want to go this route, however, I am sure this will be a slam dunk...especially after I prove the two letters that were sent to me on the renewal of my lease...

    0 Votes

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