MUNCIE, Ind. — The school year is not off to a good start for some Ball State students after they say they encountered homes that were dirty and in disrepair, despite the fact that they paid a fee to have the home cleaned.
The properties are managed by MiddleTown Property Group through its subsidiaries, BSU Rentals and MiddleTown Rentals. According to its website, the group boasts hundreds of rental properties.
“I showed up and nothing had been touched or cleaned,” one student said. “I was a little taken back.”
A Ball State student, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said she recently moved into her home that she had rented from BSU Rentals. The student said she and her roommate paid a total of $500 as a cleaning fee to the agency.
The student said she knew the company had a reputation and called ahead of time to make sure her home would be clean. She said the company assured her the unit would be cleaned.
“I walked in and went straight to the living room because I was going to look at the carpet,” the student said in an interview on Tuesday. “I ran the vacuum literally just one line across the living room and I had to dump it already because of the amount of hair in there.”
The student said she also found piles of ash in her basement, the toilet seat was broken and just about everything was dirty.
“It’s just disappointing because I know it’s happening to other people,” the student said.
Another resident recently moved into one of BSU Rental’s properties a couple of weeks ago.
They said they were charged a cleaning fee as well. When they showed up for moving day, they found damage throughout the house and even a bat hanging behind the blinds.
“It’s just disappointing because I know it’s happening to other people,” student Kylie Lock said.
Locke, who has never rented from the company, said it has a reputation among students.
“Everyone at Ball State kind of knows to stay away from them so everyone warned you to stay away from them,” Lock said. “So I would just say if you can find something else I would.”
We stopped by the landlord’s offices to get some answers. They declined interviews, but sent us a statement blaming the number of move-ins and its third-party vendors for the problems. The company apologized and encouraged residents to report issues to them.
Here’s the full statement:
However, some say it won’t do much good.
“I tried to call and be proactive about it and still nothing,” the tenant said.
Tenants rights experts encourage people to do their research and know a few things before entering into a rental agreement.
You can find tips from Indiana Legal Services here.
MiddleTown Property Group does have two complaints with the Better Business Bureau in the last year and has several complaints regarding a lack of maintenance.
Several residents told us they plan to try and recoup some of their cleaning fee from the company.