Tech residents, Standard apt. management clash

Photo courtesy of Taylor Gray, Student Publications

If you want to live near Tech’s campus, but not in Institute-owned housing, then you are left with a handful of options. The Standard is one such option, and the eighteen-story apartment complex which opened last year has been plagued by complaints from residents from the beginning.

Construction of the complex was six months behind schedule when the first tenants began to move in, and only one of the two elevators was in service. These initial issues were set aside, as tenants expected the end of construction to resolve many issues; it did not.

Currently, the Standard has a rating of 2.2/5 stars on Google. Comparable East Midtown options Square on Fifth and U House have 3.6/5 stars and 3.9/5 stars, respectively. The comments included alongside the negative reviews provide insight into the various failings of the Standard’s management, the most glaring of which are also chronicled in several posts on the Tech subreddit.

One of the most common complaints from residents was that appliances provided by the management at the Standard did not work upon move-in, and appliances were only fixed after a delay of multiple weeks. Kyle Laubenstein, a resident, posted a review detailing his experience, saying that “[our] washing machine got fixed 2 weeks after move-in” and that “our cable does not work and has never worked.”

Heating and air conditioning units have also been a serious issue at the complex, as detailed in a post on the Tech subreddit from September. “700 units were installed backwards,” details the poster, before going on to say that the delay in getting the units serviced left hundreds of residents without cooling during some of the hottest days of this past summer, where the average temperature in August was nearly 88 degrees.

Utilities are not included with rent, and in order to get utilities serviced, residents are required to go through a portal charging $60, even if the residents don’t have utilities they need to pay for.

In addition, some utilities, such as internet access, were only set up after repeated prodding of the management at the complex. Antonio Levin, a resident of the Standard, detailed his month of attempts to get internet in a Google review, where he said he was “still waiting for them to contact me.”

Another issue that was raised by several reviews and internet comments was that the length of summer leases at the Standard was insufficient. Summer leases ended on July 31, while some summer courses offered by the Institute had their finals scheduled for the days between August 1st and 3rd. This meant that students living in the Standard had to move out of their housing before they were done with classes, leaving them temporarily homeless during one of the most stressful parts of the academic year.

The unreliable management has left many residents with a bad taste in their mouths. Emily Young, a resident at the Standard, said that it was “the housing equivalent of Fyre Festival,” referencing the infamous 2017 music festival and scam that ended in disaster after leaving its attendants stranded in the Caribbean.

Some of the only praise for the Standard comes in relation to their amenities, namely the rooftop pool. The area has two hot tubs and frequently plays host to viewing parties of local sporting events on its large outdoor screen.

Another of the complaints lodged was that the Standard’s management was slow with following up with residents both over email and through physical mailings. Several of these issues, including returning security deposits and sending itemized lists of damages deducted from security deposits, had elapsed past the legally allowed windows for sending the documents, which highlights the substandard management practices at the Standard.

The Standard is owned and managed by Landmark Properties, a real estate holding company that owns college student-focused apartment complexes in 27 states. The Standard is a brand name for them, and there are branches across the country, including one in Athens, home of UGA.

The Mark is another one of Landmark’s brands, and one property under that banner is currently under construction in East Midtown nearby the existing Standard. The Mark will also be managed by Landmark Properties.