Do not be seduced by how well situated the place is. The yard is pretty, but you can only enjoy it on warm, dry days. The rest of the time you are stuck with the apartment. Don’t let the ceiling beams or french doors fool you – the apartment is garage-quality.
Ask for a mold test before signing up, if you are sensitive to that kind of thing or if you are concerned for your health. The landlord was dismissive about everything connected to mold forming or existing when I brought it up to him. I woke up sick every day.
Conditions are ripe for fertile walls. When the back bedroom cools off, it smells wet and dank. I inherited a flooding sun-room from the tenants before me. Signs of water damage abound. The bathroom has no fan or opening window plus the walls and ceiling are full of holes and cracks collecting water. The tenant of the storeroom next door said the landlords had to scrub down an outbreak of mold from a chronic leak over Christmas, which continued despite a new roof. There are tons of cracks & points of entry in the walls for spores and insects and whatever else.
I had to close down the back bedroom for the winter, since the radiator was leaking. The wood floor beneath it is highly water damaged, so this was not a new occurrence. The back bedroom closet was an icebox, and the room never warmed up. I turned off the heat in the back bedroom and laundry room. I closed off those two rooms plus the sun-room. The gas bill for three rooms plus the hot water heater for a single person came in at a whopping $200 a month! (My rent was not reduced for having only three out of five rooms available.)
Don’t expect these landlords to fork out any money to have things done correctly the first time. It appears they’d rather repair the life out of things. Expect the hassle of a lot of landlord contact. Other repairs are simply never done, like the missing ceiling fan blade I was told would be replaced when I arrived in December. It’s now April. More than two months ago, I showed the landlord wall-boards separating from the walls, the crumbling interior concrete wall I was sweeping up in the kitchen, the walls in the kitchen not connected to the floor (behind the appliances), the baseboard missing in the kitchen, the sources of the sun-room leak I had located and marked off, the cracked walls I wanted sealed. Not a single repair has been touched to this day. He told me he would repair if I resigned the lease! So even if they make these repairs before you arrive, you should be aware of the underlying attitude at work, or not at work.
Another downside is anyone looking for garages to rob will be stumbling across your home. There was an attempted break-in at the storeroom over Christmas. Not as safe as you would think for Lake Forest.
Slow to plow. No shoveling. Snow removal did not occur as promised. The lease said snow removal would occur at 1-inch. When I complained about falling in slippery conditions, I received an email snow removal would occur at 2-inches.
The landlords said they would renew my lease at same price of $1,100 in May. They are now advertising a price of $1,150, ostensibly to include water. I was paying water separately at about $13 a month, so they are looking to make a $500 profit off you. They will use your water supply for their other businesses and also for the landscaping which is supposedly included in the rent. So your increase may be paying to water the front tenant’s lawn and to run the vegetable stand.