Pointe residents face mold, mushrooms and filth in apartments

Zach Henson

Assistant News Editor

Many residents of the Pointe at Troy have commented on Caitlyn and Steven Sebastian’s Facebook posts, sharing their experiences of living at the Pointe at Troy.

Caitlyn Sebastian, a junior biomedical sciences major from Birmingham who recently discovered toxic mold in her apartment, and her father Steven Sebastian recently posted on the Troy Students Facebook page, sparking other residents to comment, sharing similar stories.

Courtney Twiggs, a sophomore exercise science major from Troy, described mold and mushrooms growing by the wall in her pantry. Twiggs agreed to provide more details through an in-person interview with the Tropolitan.

After Twiggs submitted a work order regarding the mushrooms, a maintenance worker came to address the issue.

“They came and basically all he did was cut the mushroom out of the floor, sprayed bleach on it and cleaned it and then he left,” she said.

Two weeks later, two more mushrooms appeared, which Twiggs and her roommates removed themselves.

After another work order, the maintenance worker cut a hole in the drywall above the moldy area, revealing a leaking pipe.

“He cut the wall out and it was so wet that (the drywall) just like fell off the wall,” she said. “It was like all mushy ’cause the wall was so wet.”

The worker then repaired the leaking pipe, but left the hole in the drywall, exposing the pantry to mold inside the wall, according to Twiggs.

Twiggs said that after another two weeks, the hole was repaired, but during this time, another set of two mushrooms grew from the floor.

Twiggs also described moving into her apartment, during which time there was a cleaning crew in the unit.

After the cleaning crew left, Twiggs said she still found general filth throughout her apartment. The kitchen floor turned socks black, and her bathroom counter was littered with hair. Additionally, the bottom of the bathtub was covered in dirty footprints and the mirror scratched.

According to Twiggs, she was able to clean these areas using simple bleach.

The Pointe inspects each unit once per quarter. Twiggs said she is usually not present during these inspections, but recalled a recent inspection during which Jennifer Earles, the Pointe at Troy’s property manager, entered the foyer and did not go farther into the apartment before leaving.

“I feel like the rent and the money and everything is just way too high for the quality of the place,” she said.

Twiggs was not the only resident with a story to share.

“I lived at the Pointe my first year in college, and it was absolutely awful,” wrote Shelby Crouch, a Pointe resident.

Crouch said the management of the Pointe is “disrespectful” and “rude” and that it does not care about its tenants.

“We had so many issues and could never get ahold of (Earles),” she wrote.

Alecia Hicks, a sophomore communication major from Montgomery, described an attempt to have a “civil conversation” with Earles regarding an unregistered puppy in her apartment.

“The second I walked into her office she was rude,” wrote Hicks.

Hicks admitted that she was about 20 minutes late to the meeting with Earles because of classes and commuting, but in a later interview expressed her disappointment in the Pointe.

“It would just be so much more respectful if we were treated kindly instead of dismissed … since we do pay them so much money to live there,” she said.

Jessica Gunn, a junior multimedia journalism major from Seaside, Florida, described mold growing in her apartment’s carpet and her sink filling and overflowing from the drain on multiple occasions.

“One of the maintenance men even said that it was disgusting and he would hate to have that,” Gunn wrote. “Nothing has been done about it ever.”

The Pointe has a 3.5-star rating on Facebook, but many reviews rate it as one or two stars out of five. There are some reviews that rate the Pointe with five stars, but at least five of the five-star reviews come from current or former employees of Asset Campus Housing, the Pointe’s managing company, or one of its complexes, according to their Facebook profiles.

“The lack of general concern from (Earles) tells me that these individuals are willing to hide a concern,” said Steven Sebastian on Facebook. “The health of my family and others that live in that apartment should be the concern of the owner.

“Not trying to save a buck and try to hide the issues.”

Earles declined to comment, but referred the Tropolitan to her regional manager at Asset Campus Housing, Aryne Linder.

Linder declined to comment as well and referred the Tropolitan to Mark Evans, a public relations representative for Asset.

Evans declined to comment specifically on any situation besides Caitlyn Sebastian’s, but said in an email, “Our residents’ well being and their enjoyment of our property have and always will be given our highest priority.”

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