While living in a Greystar apartment, Neftali and Yusdel suffered horrible conditions, especially with the building’s plumbing. For about two weeks they did not have a functioning bathroom. Greystar’s compensation offer? A pair of free movie tickets.
Meanwhile water rained down from ceilings and sewage bubbled up from drains, damaging rugs & paint before the leaks were finally fixed. Then when Neftali and Yusdel moved out, Greystar charged them for the damage.
After a little online research, we realized this was absolutely typical of the way Greystar – the largest apartment manager in the U.S. – preys on people.
A few highlights from other Greystar tenants’ online reviews:
– “A closet door broke right off of a rotting wall and collapsed on me!” (yelp)
– “I’d rather be shot in the face than to live in that apartment again!” (pissedconsumer.com)
– “All over the apartment is mold and my kids are so sick… The lady who was our neighbor died in her apartment and [Greystar] left her there for a month…” (ripoffreport.com)
– “We had asked that the second floor balcony be secured better because our toddler could slip through the railings. Greystar’s eviction attorney came to our home and asked me to hold my toddler out through the railings to prove that he could fit” (yelp)
You get the idea. Greystar’s CEO, Bob Faith, explains his business model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9H_ft36OsM
(“Many times we take over an asset that was managed by a smaller organization that hadn’t been focused on the bottom line, and we can drive dramatic savings out of the expense side of the equation”)
In other words, they boost profits by dramatically cutting back on maintenance and allowing thousands of people’s homes to decay and fall apart.
Usually they get away with it all, but when they ripped off Neftali, they messed with the wrong guy. After Greystar arrogantly rejected his initial demands, 24 of us marched with him into Greystar’s offices. Then, since Greystar is huge, we reached out to allies in dozens of cities in the U.S., U.K., and Mexico, asking them to post warnings around Greystar-run apartment buildings. In city after city, potential Greystar renters started seeing dire warnings about the company, including quotes from real tenant horror stories.
On Wednesday August 19th, Greystar caved. Regional manager Garett Randall met with Neftali and two other SeaSol’ers. He demanded that Neftali sign a confidentiality agreement before receiving his money, so that this story could not be told publicly. Neftali and friends stood up and started walking out. Randall then panicked, ran after Neftali, and handed him the check.
It’s only a tiny blow against the giant corporate scum that is Greystar, but it is something. Thanks again to all who helped win this fight! Let this serve as a reminder that direct action does in fact get the goods, and all tenants need to organize themselves in such a manner as to protect themselves from predatory operations like Greystar’s.