Studios @ Walnut
Pasadena, CA 91107
I lived at the Studios for a few years with my dogs. The contract requires an annual 5 percent increase in rent. During my time there, my front window had to be put in (it wasn’t finished) and the plumbing wasn’t repaired (in the bathroom). The plumbing was old and they couldn’t get the part. It was cool in an urban loft way. So I might have given it a higher rating before I moved out.
But the measure of a rental experience is also how they treat you once you’re gone! After moving out in March 2009, I was supposed to get a refund on my deposit. I even got an email saying what she thought I should get back. After that, no return emails. Letters went unanswered. I took these people to the theater for free!
I had to take the landlady, Estelle Campbell to court twice so far. The second time was because she didn’t pay the original settlement. She gave me four checks in court. The last two bounced. So I will be at the Pasadena court again. This is 2011. How long should it take to collect your security deposit?
I’m not the only person. I know of one person who moved out a few years before me who never received his refund. No letter. Nothing. If you do sue, remember to use the company name as well as her name. It makes collection easier.
Yes, this is a dog-friendly place, however, don’t expect to get your deposit back.
Update – 8/24/2011
I finally got my security deposit refund, but it required 2.5 years, two small claims court appearances and three separate trips to the courthouse to file papers with the clerk and at least as many phone calls to the clerk for information. Yeah for persistence.
Here’s another Yelper who wrote about the situation:
THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE LIVING HERE.
For one thing–they may not be able to keep the building–they appear to have serious financial problems.
I gave Estelle Campbell and her boyfriend/partner (Allen Goldstein) a $2,000 cash deposit (Dec. 2010) to hold a studio/loft apartment while we ironed out the lease and details. After this, the lease was a moving target all aimed to help them out with their bank arrangement. Allen kept adding more and more conditions to the lease (like let’s have you pay $1,800 but the lease will say $2,100 and then we’ll give you a credit for the difference, but you will give us a piece of artwork–all because our bank needs to think we rent for the $2,100). There were also supposed to be repairs to the space which the weekend before signing the lease had not even begun. I began to feel very uneasy about all this and so I told them I did not feel comfortable and thought I was not the right tenant. I then asked for my deposit back and was told I’d have it within two weeks. (They had spent it.)
Two weeks later, I was told within a month. Then that there would be three payments over three months…etc…
Then the good-cop bad-cop show began…Allen wrote me a very hostile, personal email while Estelle said she was unaware (who knows). Estelle stopped returning emails and phone calls. I had to keep trying and calling.
After months of trying to be understanding (apparently they’re going thru very bad financial times) I got a total of $300 back of the $2,000 they owe me. Then I decided to forgive the debt rather then deal with all the hassle, and wrote a note offering to forgive the debt, which was another note she never replied to. Go figure. I gave up– I was not willing to go the two years that Jana went to get my money back.
I LOVE the building but would NEVER rent from her/them. Totally unprofessional landlord–SPENT my whole deposit before I even signed a lease!! (This was Dec 2010)… and yet, during all this time, they send me invites on Facebook to connect to them on Linked In and come see their plays at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Are you kidding?