Buyer beware – My wife and I moved here new to Tennessee. Previously, we had been homeowners. Our experience at Hillmeade has been terrible. The treatment we receive from management has been completely one-sided. Here have been some of our issues:
- We are now paying an extra $65 per month on our rent in hidden fees. This has included a "trash valet" charge that they did not notify us of until the day we arrived to move in. In addition, they use an accounting trick where they inflate the quoted rental amount and then subtract a "discount" at the end of the statement. What we learned the hard way is that they pull the discount away when you renew your lease so that it seems like your rent was not changed. You think you are getting one amount, but then on the first statement, you find out that you owe more and then you're stuck with it for the term of your new lease.
- They keep messing with the billing so that you don't know what you owe each month (it changes based upon utilities). This has included introducing a broken online billing portal that has affected multiple residents where due to flaws in Hillmeade's system, renter's bills were processed incorrectly, and Hillmeade then charged residents a late fee (10% of rent-I believe). Ours was over $150 in spite of the fact that we submitted proper information with an account that had adequate funds. We have reported this issue to local and regional managers and have yet to receive a response that addresses the issues we identified.
- Management's concerns are for the exterior of the building, not the interior. Our HVAC system is ancient. What we learned from this was that our monthly utilities went from ~$100/month in warm weather to between $400 and $600/month in cold weather (while maintaining less than a 65-degree temperature in the house). This is because their furnaces are inefficient, the walls and windows are thin, and the placement/insulation of their ducts cause all the heat to be lost before it blows into the rooms. I don't event think that our unit is capable of heating the house to 75 degrees during winter months.
- These three issues have resulted in us paying ~$1,500 more for rent & utilities in our time here than we expected. I project it will cost another $1,000 or more before our lease expires. Another way to look at it...expect that your "real cost of renting" from Hillmeade will be about $200/month more than you would initially anticipate paying. It may hurt you, but it will surely make their bottom line look great if they can get you to sign on the dotted line.
- Mice. Simply stated. We get them in our unit whenever the temperature drops. They don't know how to keep them out of our unit.
- Termites. We found those on our furniture last year. Apparently it's related to the type of bush outside of our unit.
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