Facts: My family and I are building a new home, and needed a place to stay while it was in progress, but did not want to sign a year's lease. Since we have pets, we needed a place that accepted them. We stayed here ten years ago, for three months in the winter, and moved in this time in November, expectedly staying until the early fall.
Pros: The apartment is located close to Boston and major highways, and they do allow pets. The apartment was generally clean upon our arrival, and the staff was helpful in taking out the old fridge so we could bring ours in. The apartment we're in has nice views, and the balconies are great to have. Staff is generally helpful in acknowledging complaints. They do allow short-term leases for people in situations like ours. The parking is free and is sufficient.
Cons: The service and quality of the management has definitely declined in ten years. The apartment is located off of Rte 138, and that's the only way you can access it. So if there are traffic jams or construction, (which there are a lot of around here), it can take a LONG time to get in or out. There is also a major factory/complex across the street that creates a lot of traffic twice daily, despite their having a police officer on duty to regulate the traffic. The complex allows pets, but very few people here are considerate enough to clean up the grounds after them, or keep them leashed. We had a scooper outside many times, and the kids would take off with it. There are no elevators in the building, so if you're on the third floor, you have three flights of stairs to conquer with groceries or other parcels. The hallways are not well-heated nor cooled, so it's unpleasant when we have temperature extremes. We were told that this was a quiet building, but it's actually quite noisy. There are a lot of kids here who are left unsupervised at all hours. They crash through the halls in the early mornings and late nights, despite management's requests to parents to quiet them down. The older ones hang out outside without supervision, do not use the sidewalks, and purposefully stand in the way of oncoming cars. There are "gangs" of older kids here, and we've heard rumors of both drugs and prostitution being a problem here for many years. The kids have vandalized the property and frequently write vulgar terms on walls or doors. They eat in the halls and leave a mess of food and crumbs out there. We now have hot weather, and a serious bug problem, because the building is so poorly sealed. We have a parade of carpenter ants in the hall, as well as a variety of flying insects and spiders. Again, because the building is so poorly sealed, the odors from other apartments seep into ours frequently - such as bleach, very strong smells of ethnic cooking on early Sunday mornings, etc. The snow removal here this past winter was horrendous. They came so late that most of us had to dig out our own cars in the mornings before work. They hired inexperienced contractors, and a few of them bumped into and marked our cars up with their trucks. The management promised to compensate me for one of my car's damages, but they never got back to me on this. They came to shovel the walkways around 11-12 pm daily, and did not sand properly, so there was a lot of slipping. They piled the snow up behind the cars, so even when they did plow, you still had to dig out. One of our family members, and a fellow resident are handicapped. Management makes no accomodations for this, and the workers refused to help either of them dig out their cars or shovel the walks properly to prevent slipping. There was also a persistent problem over the winter with a light in the parking lot. It shut off constantly, and despite my and other residents' frequent service requests, it took over two months to fix this problem. This created a dangerous situation in the parking lot, esp with all of the ice, but the management didn't seem to care about the liability risk. Another issue has been the lack of hot water. It took several months for this problem to be corrected as well. We'd often have cold showers, and water from the sink faucets still fluctuate between hot and cold at random. Eventually we learned that they had something turned down in the central heater and some device needed replacement. We wonder how long it would have taken them to fix it if we weren't so persistent, and also wonder if they kept it turned down to save on operating costs, despite creating a potentially unsanitary condition (washing dishes and clothing in tepid water). The management has a rather dumb policy in regards to plumming help off-hours. If you have a two bedroom or three bedroom apartment with two baths, if one toilet becomes clogged (happens often - they are poor efficiency toilets and have broken several times) they will not come out to repair it if you have one working bathroom. This creates a major problem for people like ourselves who have medical problems and need the two baths which we're paying for, and also for larger families. As a final note, there have been several potentially dangerous residents and situations here. One man went after another resident with a knife about two weeks ago, after kicking someone's dog. The police were called, and management claimed to have followed up. We are also fortunate enough to live beside a known domestic abuser (the mother of the woman renting the apartment informed us of this and that he has violated his restraining order in the past) The man has been abusive to his young kids in my presence and often brings them home as late as midnight on school nights. I have reported this to both the police and management, neither of which have done anything about it.
SUMMARY: It's not the worst apartment complex in the world, but I'd think very carefully about recommending it to anyone, and would not return here again myself. I think that you have to weigh the pros and cons very carefully, and decide what's most important to you. If you want safety, comfort, quiet, and cleanliness, this is not the place for you. If you have pets or need a short-term lease, and can tolerate the many problems we have here, then you'll probably do ok.