Can I Get a Pet if I Live in a Small Apartment? »
Living in small space doesn't mean you can't have a furry friend -- it just means you have to do some planning.
Living in small space doesn't mean you can't have a furry friend -- it just means you have to do some planning.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
We've put together a small list to get you started on your journey -- and the first step starts with a single box.
This is one of the most pathetic apartments i have ever lived. the apartment is infested with roaches, bedbugs and other insects. it is smelly. the apartment hallways have a rancid odor and are dirty. the maintenance of the apartment is very bad. People hardly address your issues. it is really an unsafe place to live. last summer there has been atleast 5 mugging incidents in the parking lot of the apartment. people have lost valuables and the management didnt pay any attention from the resident's complaints. few of the residents took the issue in their own hands and complained to the police after which the management installed few security cameras. except for the short distance from cleveland clinic and case western reserve university there is no other plus in staying or renting the apartment in fairhill towers.
Several years ago when I moved in this place was awesome. Quiet, mostly retired crowd who were friendly and actually cared about their space. The woman in the office (Mary Lou) was so friendly and helpful. Now the staff couldn't care less and the people living here are the same. My neighbor's kids scream at the top of their lungs all day, every day. I'm afraid to park my car in the parking lot because people have no respect for property and bang their doors into it. They don't salt when it snows and I have a lovely view of an overflowing dumpster from my balcony. Rent is high (more if you have pets), and there are zero amenities. Wait, there's a crappy tennis court no one uses. There was a basketball hoop on the tennis court which at least kept some of the children from playing in parking lot (throwing balls at people's cars), but the staff decided the basketball hoop wasn't part of the lease and removed it. I can't wait until my lease is up and I can get out of here! In two and a half years management has completely ruined this place. I've heard that some of the people that have lived here a long time have complained and were told to pound salt because "there's always someone else who will move in". They don't value the good tenants who have lived here awhile, instead preferring to bring new people in. Update: I gave them my notice that I was moving and they proceeded to harass me for the rest of my time there. They wanted to do a "pre-move out inspection" while I was packing, then another inspection while I was moving. Then during my move the manager made me vacuum the lobby because she said I made a mess on the floor. Not sure how she can tell as the carpet is so badly stained all the time. I hired a professional cleaning crew to clean the apartment before I left as I figured they would give me a hard time after I moved. Paid $160 for cleaners, and Foxmoor still took $222 of my $299.00 security deposit. Move here at your own risk!
PLEASE BEWARE!! This place is roach infested! Moved in 7 days ago and I'm horrified. Seeing roaches every day in the common areas, have found some in my unit. The management and leasing office is well aware and isn't telling potential or current residents (which is highly immoral and illegal)!! They are not taking the proper steps to rectify the infestation either. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE TO MY WORST ENEMY! It's a nightmare. *If possible and willing, can you please contact Forest City Residential Management (216-621-6060) and complain!
Professional and friendly staff. Made my transition into my first apartment enjoyable.
I lived at Shaker Lakes apartments for 10 years. I enjoyed every moment while I was a tenant, through medical school and residency. It was perfect for me. It was a quiet apartment complex for all my studying. It was affordable, the front office was very responsive to all my needs and John was especially amazing - he is a down-to-earth, honest, patient and straight-shooter of a man. If you needed anything fixed in the apartment, it is done within a day. Plus it is 5-10 minutes of both University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and their medical schools. I think as residents or medical students we are so busy and barely have time for errands outside our work lives, the front office is often patient and would work with you to accommodate your needs. I am grateful to John for that. I had an amazing experience as a tenant!
Terrible! Simply terrible. Unprofessional management, old and decrepit, smelly apartments. Stay away from Property Investment Company!
This is one God awful place to live. Maintenance and cleanliness lacks big time and the elevators are constantly out of order. Earlier this year we kept losing hot water for up to 5 days while Millennia headquarters kept telling us to hold on. Headquarters does not like to replace anything, just put a temporary band-aid on it. At night the parking lot is almost pitch black and they refuse to put up sufficient lighting. Even though we have complained about it. They also let people in the neighborhood park in the parking lot which takes away our spaces and there's not even enough for the residents here. They don't bother to tow them even though there is a sign so why would the non-residents stop? This apartment has great potential but headquarters doesn't care. We're constantly given 24 hr notices stating that maintenance is coming to do a repair within the next 3 DAYS! So if you have to be somewhere and don't want them in your place alone you'll have to stay home all 3 days, and that's if they even come. Even contractors will come to your door and claim they are maintenance which they aren't which makes me very very leary to open my door to a face I don't know. Do yourself a favor and don't move here.
While it's true that the rent is low for the elderly folks on a fixed income, you get what you pay for. Utilities are free but turning the heat on is up to the management who doesn't have a slightest idea when to turn it on. In November, the heat is still SHUT OFF. It's freezing and no one gives a damn. If you elect to have a space heater, then you MUST report this to the management who will add on an additional monthly charge for that. Ditto for the window air conditioner at summer. SUCKS - stay away from this place!!!!
Been around over 5 years at two different properties near Shaker Square. Having been here that long I can say that I have noticed things improving over the last year and half or so. I've had a number of issues over the years, some small, one or two more serious. Staff attitudes have been markedly improved.
I lived in Montlack Realty Fairhill tower for five years. The west facing two bedroom apartment has the most amazing view of the Cleveland downtown and the lake. It was a treat for us every day to view the amazing sunset from our bedroom. The apartment is well managed and the office staffs are really great. John and Butch were always there to listen to us if we had any issues in our unit. The apartments are really affordable considering the vicinity to the Cleveland Clinic and the Case Western. We have never faced a single problem with the maintenance as they were always there to fix things even in late evening hours. Montlack has several apartments in the Fairhill road, Kemper area but the Fairhill tower was the most convenient for us as it was walking distance from the Clinic and the Case and also the RTA stops just in front of the building. There are hiking trails across the building on the banks of Doan brook. Overall, the area is a safe place to live with a family.
There has perhaps never been a better tool for do-it-yourself home handymen than the internet. With detailed instructions and videos explaining how to perform a number of common maintenance and renovation tasks around a house, an untrained homeowner might be surprised at how much he or she can accomplish with a quick search online. But even with all of this information, there are still many jobs that lie far outside the scope of most DIY enthusiasts. General contractors are there to fill in this gap.
A general contractor specializes in seeing a home remodel or repair project through from start to finish. To do this, the contractor works with the client - whether they are a homeowner or business - to nail down the scope of the work. Then he or she will turn to one or more subcontractors for specific tasks, like equipment operation, design, electrical work or whatever else is needed.
In essence, general contractors could be thought of as middlemen between a homeowner or business owner and any number of specialists. To get their money's worth, many assume they should just "cut out the middleman" and hire specialists directly, but this often proves more difficult in practice. General contractors won't be completing an entire project by themselves, but should have a long list of dependable experts who can work together and accomplish any task. They might also serve as the manager on the site of a construction project, overseeing workers and providing guidance and assistance when needed. For larger projects, though, the contractor might only handle administrative matters and employ a foreman or other professional for on-site supervision.
There are many general contractors who also specialize in certain tasks themselves. There is usually at least one general contractor on hand to organize the construction of an entire home, for example. But general contractors could also help a homeowner add an additional bedroom, build an in-ground pool or complete a major landscaping project. They could also work with a business to add or improve office space, whether that means making more room or converting a commercial building from a nail salon to a restaurant. Basically, if it's a job that involves building or repairing, a general contractor probably knows how to get it done.
No matter what the exact job may be, a contractor will probably need to accomplish several other essential tasks in pursuit of the ultimate goal, which may include:
Every general contractor performing any kind of work on a project must be licensed to do so in their state. The guidelines for the specifics on licensing vary from state to state. Some states might only require registration of contractors, which is different from licensing. Registration typically means that there must be a written record of what work is being performed and by whom, but it does not guarantee professional knowledge. Licensing, on the other hand, involves an examination process to assess professional competence.
Whether your state requires licensing or registration of contractors, there should be a record of most professionals willing to complete certain projects in your area. Check your state or county website for more information. In states that require licensing, every licensed contractor's contact information is available online or from another public source.
Not every project needs to be completed by a licensed or registered contractor. If it's just a minor job that won't take more than a day or two, and will cost less than a few hundred dollars, it's likely not necessary to find a licensed or registered contractor. However, anything bigger or more expensive, or a project involving plumbing or electrical work, needs to be completed by a licensed or registered professional.
General contractors also must be covered by an insurance policy. This should include liability coverage for any property damage that could be inflicted in the course of a job. It should also include a worker's compensation policy in case anyone is injured on the job. Before hiring a contractor for anything, ask for written proof of this insurance to see exactly what is covered.
A number of trade associations for contractors in the U.S. exist. Some of the biggest include:
Most trade associations for general contractors will provide references for anyone looking to hire a contractor for a specific project. They may also provide a number of benefits for their members, including assistance with licensing, training, insurance and business development.
No matter what you need accomplished, you want to choose a contractor who can get the job done right at a reasonable price. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find a trustworthy general contractor.
The first, and perhaps most reliable, way to find a general contractor is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation. If you know anyone who has had major work done on their home, particularly if it's a similar job, ask them who they hired and if they were pleased with the result. You could also ask neighbors about who they've hired if you notice work being done on their house. Many remodeling contractors post signs in front of homes to advertise their services. As a general rule, it's rarely a good idea to hire a contractor who solicits work by going door to door.
If you are considering hiring a contractor without a personal recommendation, ask the contractor for references from past clients, and do as much background research on them as possible. Look for any complaints (or compliments) online to get a better idea of their track record. There are a number of websites specializing in connecting contractors with people or businesses who need work done. These sites may also allow past clients to submit their own reviews of the contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure you are both in agreement on the project's budget. It's normal for most contractors to charge clients a premium not only for the labor expenses and zoning expertise, but for acquiring the materials as well. Be as clear and concise as possible regarding what you'll be purchasing yourself and what you will be paying the contractor to complete. Homeowners may be able to find a better deal on raw materials when they purchase these directly, but they first need to be sure they aren't buying the wrong things.
Don't forget to discuss how the project will be finalized and what will be done about cleanup. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.
As previously mentioned, you need to make sure to follow any state and local regulations regarding construction work, which includes hiring a licensed or registered general contractor. Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Perhaps the best way to feel safe about a contractor and the work being done is to hire a contractor you trust. This is why relying on personal references from friends and family is so important, and will often provide a great deal of peace of mind. If you aren't able to obtain a reference, work to conduct extensive research on the contractor as well as the work you are hiring them to perform. This should bring everyone's expectations into alignment and result in a safe work environment.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work to be done and all costs are listed in the contract, right down to the most precise details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Once the specifics of the job are nailed down, be sure to discuss the payment schedule with the contractor. This is important because paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule with the contractor, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. It's a good idea to include this payment plan in the contract as well.
Finally, look into getting a lien release signed before work begins. If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. This can trigger a long legal process that may be frustrating. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered. A lien dispute could also be prevented by performing due diligence prior to picking a contractor, as any contractor with good credit and a long track record of satisfied clients should have no trouble paying for materials and labor once all contract conditions have been met.
Once work is underway, it's never a bad idea to check up on the progress of the job, either by staying in touch with the contractor over the phone or visiting the site in person. If you work with a trustworthy professional, it's probably best to keep your distance and allow everyone to stay busy. If you want to keep an eye on things, make sure workers wear the right safety gear and that everything looks to be moving along according to schedule. Finally, once work is finished and you are satisfied, be sure to thank your contractor and tell friends or family members about your experience.