Lovejoy StationRate This Apartment
- The property management company, Bowen Property Management, is the real evil behind the Lovejoy Station Apartments.
- My first run-in with Bowen Property Management Company was last August (2006), when one of their on-site rental agents, a guy named "Quinn" if I remember correctly, denied my application for an apartment at The Sitka, an apartment building here in the Pearl District (Portland, Oregon). The Sitka featured cheaper rent than what was offered at the Lovejoy Station Apartments. An additional benefit was free Internet connections (not offered at the Lovejoy Station).
- Neither Quinn nor his manager could provide any reasonable excuse for denying my rental application, so I asked someone at the Bowen Property Management, the property manager for The Sitka at the time, for why my rental application was denied.
- Bottom Line: For each excuse that either The Sitka's rental agents or representatives at Bowen Property Management came up with, I would politely point out why and how their reasoning didn't hold water. Finally a woman at the Bowen Property Management main office just flatly told me they were not going to rent the apartment to me.
- Amazingly, they did accept my application for an apartment at the Lovejoy Station, but the rent would cost almost an additional $300 per month, and offer no free Internet connections. I took it anyway because I was due to move from my old house in just a couple of days and had no other options lined up. I should probably mention that my rental application had originally been accepted at The Sitka before representatives at the building and at Bowen Property Management began jacking me around at the last moment.
- While handing in my first rent check (first, last/deposit, pet fee, etc.) the Lovejoy Station's on-site leasing agent at the time (there has been a 100% staff turnover since) told me that, even though I could legally pay my rent each month as late as the 5th, she wanted it by the 1st each month anyway. I went along with her request, and handed in my rent on the first each month.
- But at the beginning of this month (August, 2007) I had a queasy feeling that my rent check might make it to my credit union ahead of my paycheck. I asked the current on-site property manager, Stephanie Dotson, how long she thought it would take my check to clear their system if I gave it to her then (on the first, as usual).
- She said my rent would probably not clear Bowen Property Management's bank and then draw against my checking account at my credit union until that coming Friday (3rd), or even until the following Monday (6th). If she were correct, I knew that this would allow plenty of time for my direct-deposit paycheck to make it to my checking account.
- Unhappily, Stephanie Dotson, Lovejoy Station's "Sr. Property Manager," turned out to be wrong. My check bounced. When I contacted my credit union to explain the situation they immediately refunded the NSF charge they had charged my account. My paycheck had showed up by then. Not to worry, my rent check would simply make another attempt to clear, which was standard practice in these situations.
- NOT SO! Turns out that Bowen Property Management's "company policy does not allow a check to be submitted twice for payment." What?!? The folks at my credit union couldn't believe it, saying they weren't aware of any other business enforcing that kind of policy. Virtually every check that ever fails to clear on the first attempt gets one more chance to clear.
- On August 16, 2007, a Lovejoy Station on-site staffer taped a letter to the outside of my apartment door demanding "a certified check or money order for $1,115.00, this amount includes the original check amount of $1040.00 plus a $25.00 NSF Fee and a $50.00 late fee." This letter also demanded that my new payment "should be to the office no later than Monday, August 20, 2007 by 8:00 am to avoid further action."
- So, even though I bent over backwards for an entire year to hand in my rent check each month on the first, although I was legally entitled to pay as late as the fifth, Bowen Property Management saw fit to cut me no slack for my efforts at complying with their stated wishes.
- Even though Stephanie Dotson, Bowen Property's "Sr. Property Manager" at the Lovejoy Station, assured me that I could safely give her my rent check before I had confirmed that my paycheck had landed in my bank account, she had no qualms about sticking a letter demanding immediate payment of rent, NSF and late fees with a "certified check or money order" when she turned out to be wrong.
- Most criminally, of course, is Bowen Property Management's "policy" of not allowing "a check to be submitted twice for payment," an absurd, putative and unheard-of policy that caused the problem in the first place.
- For these reasons and more, I do NOT recommend renting anything from any property managed by Bowen Property Management, including the Lovejoy Station Apartments.
I rented from fall '06 through summer '07.