Quenton Martin has lived at the Grove through delayed work orders and a break-in, but a bug-infested bed was what prompted him to make a video that went viral.
Having garnered almost 85,000 views and over 1,000 shares on Facebook before he deleted it, the video shows Martin, a senior social science major from Tuscaloosa, standing in the common area of the Grove, the clubhouse, with a mattress on the ground.
In the video, he explained the events leading up to his actions, including work orders not being completed, a break-in and then a bedbug infestation that was not being addressed that eventually prompted the moving of his mattress.
Another video followed, also deleted, detailing the Grove’s request that he vacate the premises or be evicted.
Martin was legally advised not to speak to the Tropolitan about the matter, but others have gone through some of Martin’s frustrations as well.
Brianna Spivey, a senior broadcast journalism major from Dothan, lived at the Grove from 2014 to July 2015.
“When I first went on my tour, of course it was a beautiful property,” Spivey said of the model apartment she was shown. “You’re tricked into believing that’s what your room will look like.”
Spivey experienced issues with getting repairs done in a timely manner.
“My tub was stopped up for two weeks,” she said. “I kept telling them, and they didn’t take me seriously until my mom called.”
Spivey said that she and her roommates were charged for overages in the utilities that they discovered had not actually occurred when one of them contacted the power company to discuss the apartment’s usage.
In addition to overages that they did not believe to be justified, Spivey discovered that the whole building was charged a fee if animal feces were found outside — regardless of whether or not you were a pet owner — or if a bag of trash was left outside someone’s door.
During the moving-out process, the sheet used to check damage by tenants was lost for her room, so she was told that she would not incur any fees since it couldn’t be proven that it was she and not the previous tenant.
However, she said she was unknowingly charged $60 that later went to collections and lowered her credit score.
“We had to fight with the credit company to get that off my credit,” Spivey said.
She also said that during her stay, the staff seemed to be “very unprofessional.”
“They could never give us a full answer,” she said. “If you call corporate, it takes them about two weeks to answer.”
“I wanted to look at other places, but this was during the time that Alumni (Hall) was being renovated and housing was short,” Spivey said. “I thought it would be the best bang for my buck, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be.”
Kaylah Watkins, a senior music education major from Dothan and current resident of the Grove, said that she has encountered similar complications in dealing with the staff.
“The issues we’ve had with management are lack of professionalism and communication,” Watkins said. “I’ve been here since early June, and have never once seen the manager.
“She’s never been available. When we do have problems, she sends a desk worker back and forth, rather than just coming out and greeting us and resolving the problem.”
The condition of the apartment was also an issue.
“When we moved in initially, it was a disaster,” she said. “The place was not cleaned at all.
“There was grime on the stove, stains on the carpet, the ottoman was shredded, and there was junk and mail still in the dresser and in the desk.”
Watkins doesn’t think the problems she’s had are severe, though.
“We’ve never had any serious issues, but since moving here we’ve spent a good bit of money on roach poison, and my indoor cat is on a flea prescription,” she said. “She didn’t have them before.”
“All in all, it’s not the worst place I’ve lived in,” Watkins said. “It costs a lot more than it’s worth, and we’re definitely moving after our lease is up.
“I’ll miss my big bathroom, my big closet and having easy access to a pool during the summer, but that’s about it.”
The Grove is owned by Campus Crest, and has 39 complexes across the country, according to gogrove.com.
“Campus Crest develops, builds and operates student housing communities that make a positive impact on the world,” says an overview on campuscrest.com. “We believed we could make a difference in college students’ lives by delivering a customer-focused, service-enriched experience they couldn’t find anywhere else.”
Management at the Grove in Troy refused to comment, and the corporate office to which the Tropolitan was directed in Houston had not responded at press time.