The first week of February my wife and I spoke with Jodie Wright in the office of the Vine Street Lofts concerning leasing/renting a loft. We filled out paper work, paid a non-refundable application fee of $40.00, picked a floor plan, and Jodie explained that there were government-enforced guidelines concerning how rent prices are set. She claimed there was a governing policy that regulated rent prices according to income and gave us paperwork outlining the sliding scale. According to the guidelines they were to follow, our income placed us in a bracket where we would be obligated to pay $595.00-$647.00 per month for a two bedroom loft dependent upon whether the loft was 933sq ft or 1097sq ft. She claimed we were also obligated to rent a two-bedroom unit because we have a baby. We were told that the property was to come available on March 1st and would be ready to occupy. She asked if we would like to pay a $250.00 security deposit to secure the property. We said yes and February 7th we gave Jodie a payment of $250.00 for which we received a receipt.
As the first of March drew close Jodie called and told us the floor plan we had most desired was ready and asked that we make arrangements to move in. She later called again and wanted to discuss price. She asserted that although it was the same floor plan in the same building that the rental price was much higher and wanted to know if we would still be interested at $875.00 per month. I told here no that we had budgeted for the amount agreed upon, could not afford higher payments and that the median income policy she had spoken of and given us paperwork concerning placed us within a certain income/rent bracket that she by law must follow. Jodie said that she was sorry and that she had neglected to look at the market value of the unit that had come available and that unfortunately it was higher than $647.00 a month but that She would check with her supervisor to see if she could work something out. She never called back.
We received another phone call from Jodie on the second week of April. She relayed that the property we had applied and left a deposit for had come available. Jodie asked that we return to the office to arrange for a tour of the unit and fill out some more paperwork. We filled out a credit and rental application and Jodie checked our credit history through one or more of the major agencies. She reported we were approved and then we set a date of Thursday, April 13th 2006 to tour the unit and a move in date of April 15th 2006. We paid our last months rent with our current landlord and gave our notice of vacating the property by April 30th so we would have a little extra time to complete the move.
Jodie then called on Monday, April 10th 2006 and told us she had made a mistake and the unit we were to move into on the 15th was $1080.00 and wanted to know if we would still be interested. She said she just saw that the floor plan we were interested in was available and neglected to check the price of the unit as well as the price we had agreed upon. I told her that this was a little late in the game to be changing the rules and that, just as last time, we could not afford higher payments and that we had agreed to $647.00. Jodie again apologized and offered 2 months free rent to help lower the over all burden of the higher rental prices. I told here that we could not afford to make higher payments than we had budgeted for and that we had agreed to certain terms. She said she would speak with her supervisor because it was her mistake and see if she could work something out.
Jodie called again on Tuesday April 11th 2006 and said that her supervisor told her that the price of the unit available couldnt be changed even though it was the same floor plan in the same building.
I told Jodie how upset we were that we had given notice to our landlord, paid a security deposit, taken numerous days off of work, had our credit checked resulting in negative points to our over all score, wasted gas and time, started packing and now with a five month old baby were soon to be homeless and would have to rush to find a new place to live.
Jodie offered to call our landlord and appeal for more time, which I did not accept.
Jodie called back yet again and told me she had a nice two-bedroom apartment that she manages around Armour and Broadway blvd for $647.00 that would be available on May 1st.
After everything my family and I have gone through we have no confidence in Jodie and feel that she was attempting to up-sell us through coercive and abusive behavior using, at worst, bait and switch tactics and plain gross incompetence at best so we refused her offer and asked for our deposit back.