Colorado-based management company for Colony Apartments responds

Colony Apartments tenants report issues with management
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 11:46 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - About a third of the people living at the Colony Apartments in North Columbia still cannot return home, and tenants say property management, Monroe Group, has been unresponsive to their concerns.

On Tuesday, December 27, tenants told Columbia Police that they had spent several days without necessary utilities, prompting an evacuation order by city officials.

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WIS had been seeking comment from the Monroe Group, a Colorado-based limited liability company, about the situation since Wednesday, December 28, 2022.

Attempts to reach the ownership group through a publicly available phone number and email address were unsuccessful.

After the initial publishing of this article and airing of this report, the Monroe Group sent WIS a statement the following evening:

WIS visited the company’s local address in West Columbia registered through the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office Tuesday.

The address is also affiliated with the D’Alberto, Graham, and Grimsley law firm.

An employee who answered the door told WIS its law firm is an agent of the Corporate Service Company (CSC), which is the registered agent for Monroe Group.

CSC handles service of process, or legal documents, on behalf of Monroe Group, which essentially means that the West Columbia address acts as a PO box for property management. Any documents received there will then be forwarded to CSC, which will then be forwarded to Monroe Group management.

The law firm directed WIS to CSC, a legal services organization headquartered in Delaware.

CSC sent WIS an email, which reads in part: “I got the message that you’re looking for information on Monroe Group. Thanks for your inquiry. CSC serves as the registered agent for many companies nationwide. Our records indicate we’re the registered agent for Monroe Group.”

However, the email did not provide any additional statement or clarity from Monroe Group.

Monroe Group’s website states: “Monroe Group has grown to become one of the country’s fastest-growing affordable housing management companies with a portfolio of 80+ multi-unit properties in 24 states across the country serving families, seniors, and persons with disabilities.”

Kim Bruner is among the Colony Apartments tenants who remain under an evacuation order.

“What’s going on here?” she said. “I’ve never been in housing before that actually had that happen before.”

She said property management has handled the situation “very poorly.”

Daquan McFadden, who has been living at Colony Apartments for four months, said it has been a stressful period.

He claims that after reporting leaks in his apartment, maintenance did not fix the problem for months.

McFadden is frustrated with Monroe Group and its handling of this property.

“They need to do better,” he said. “I understand this is a based-off income apartments, but we should be treated like how they want to be treated. Like Christmastime, New Year’s, they’re with their family. We up in some hotels, can’t pop fireworks with our family, can’t spend time with our family, some people are not even from Columbia.”

Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins provided an update on inspections Tuesday evening, saying that officials cleared another 19 units.

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To this point, about 67 percent of the units have been deemed free of any safety hazards by fire marshal investigators.

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According to Jenkins, all the initial inspections, checking the apartments for life-threatening safety issues, are complete.

Follow-up inspections will continue throughout the rest of the week, he said.

That includes following up with maintenance crews, who are replacing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in some units.

A plumber that has also been called onto the property to repair at least 10 minor gas leaks.

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