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  1. #1
    dmb09 is offline Member 510 points
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    WARNING: Bad landlord!

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    So for 1st semesters planning on living off-campus, or those of you moving out of dorms, beware of a landlord named "Charly" who owns several properties in the Cupecoy area (and possibly beyond). He's from Morocco (very thick accent), and is a little bit on the unstable side.

    One of my friends set up to rent from him via email before arriving and agreed on a "month-to-month" lease. Well when the friend got here, the lease was a year lease and he didn't really have anywhere else to go, so he signed it. Only to discover that he would be living well below the poverty line (with couch throw pillows as bed pillows and a sink which often flooded sewage water into the apartment when it rained, among other things).

    So then, after reviewing his lease with a dean at school, they decided that the lease had no penalties for breaking it. In the midst of moving his stuff out of his apartment, the landlord's crazy uncle decided to intervene, pushed the tenant into the doorway to prevent him from leaving, grabbed his last bag, threw it into HIS apartment, and locked the door so he could call the crazy landlord so he could confront the tenant. Clearly, assault and theft, but these people are so nuts they don't even realize what they did was wrong.

    After threatening to "drag him out of the classroom and into court," the landlord and tenant finally came to an agreement that the landlord would keep the security deposit (two months rent) and the tenant would pay any outstanding electricity bills.

    PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT RENT FROM THIS MAN. He is clearly unstable and here just to con students and make them believe it's just the "island way." If you have set up a deal with him but have not yet signed a lease, GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN.

    (If you need more info, send me a PM. I won't be checking back here often because of exams.)
    U.Va 2007 - Biology, Spanish
    AUC 2013 - Medicine Hidden Content

  2. #2
    AndyMD's Avatar
    AndyMD is offline Senior Member 512 points
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    Great job giving incoming students the heads up. I wish I had more information about Solutions management before coming down to the island. While they're not quite as bad as this guy seems to be, I'd avoid them too if possible.

    To incoming students: heed the advice. Academics here put more than enough on your plate. You don't need landlords and housing issues adding any more stress to your life.

  3. #3
    jhackett is offline Member 510 points
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    I second the OP's advice.

  4. #4
    Gipsee2003 is offline Newbie 45 points
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    I don't see the problem, the man is just trying to make money

  5. #5
    dmb09 is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gipsee2003 View Post
    I don't see the problem, the man is just trying to make money
    Yes, well you see, GOOD landlords are also just trying to make money. But they don't use their uncles' physical violence, theft, or threats to do it. I have an amazing landlord here who rents to several students. She is on her game and has never physically or verbally assaulted me. Her name is Darlene if anyone is looking...she has several properties around school as well as Point Pirouette.
    U.Va 2007 - Biology, Spanish
    AUC 2013 - Medicine Hidden Content

  6. #6
    AndyMD's Avatar
    AndyMD is offline Senior Member 512 points
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    There is something very wrong with physically and verbally assaulting tenants. There is something very wrong with misleading them to think that their lease will be month-to-month when it is not.

    This is not a 'gray' area. This is not up for debate. Like with most situations, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle it. This very obviously falls in the latter camp.

  7. #7
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    georgelucas45 is offline Senior Member 545 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyMD View Post
    There is something very wrong with physically and verbally assaulting tenants. There is something very wrong with misleading them to think that their lease will be month-to-month when it is not.

    This is not a 'gray' area. This is not up for debate. Like with most situations, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle it. This very obviously falls in the latter camp.
    You are not in America anymore... don't be so naive. Your idea about what is right/wrong is not everybody's. Nobody forced your friend to sign a one year lease. And signing before looking at the apartment, that's not very wise. Some random advice: if you hit a car, just keep on driving... even if it is the "wrong" thing to do.

  8. #8
    AndyMD's Avatar
    AndyMD is offline Senior Member 512 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelucas45 View Post
    You are not in America anymore... don't be so naive. Your idea about what is right/wrong is not everybody's. Nobody forced your friend to sign a one year lease. And signing before looking at the apartment, that's not very wise. Some random advice: if you hit a car, just keep on driving... even if it is the "wrong" thing to do.
    I'm not talking about what's legal...there probably isn't a specific law against any of that here. What I am talking about (as you seem to have picked up on) is right versus wrong: ethics, not laws. Certain ethical truths are not up for debate. An extreme example of this is murder: it's wrong no matter where you go or who you ask, and whoever says or thinks otherwise is incorrect, plain 'n simple.

    If people are going to act outside of the lines of ethics (like physically and verbally abuse their tenants) then it's probably best not to get involved with those people on any level. I think that's the point of the OP's post, and that's the point I'm trying to reinforce for incoming students.

    Thank you for the advice.

  9. #9
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    ozarkpaddler is offline Member 512 points
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    This story makes my blood boil just hearing it. We should be polite guests, but there is such a thing as being a gracious host as well.

    I have met some honest people here. The pizza man next to the school makes an honest living offering a great product at a fair price, for example. There is an element here, however, making their money by taking advantage of others.

    My advice to first semester students coming in is: if you can't get a dorm room, don't get in a hurry! (Staying in a dorm room for a semester will give you all the time you need to find an apartment you can tolerate). However, if the dorm isn't going to work for you, come down a bit early, stay in a hotel for a week or two, and thoroughly shop around before signing a lease. Even then, stop by school and ask the housing director if he thinks it is a legit lease or if you are getting ripped off. See what your orientation advisor thinks.

    Also, although some great places can be found off the beaten path, it will be blind luck if you find them as soon as you arrive. I recommend staying in apartment complexes near school where most of your neighbors are students. There will be plenty of information floating around about those places to help you decide which one you want.

    The first semester is a huge transition for most people, and you need to keep the distractions to a minimum. I have several classmates who had housing problems and it did affect their performance.
    Nemo me impune lacessit.

  10. #10
    SchoonerJay is offline Member 526 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyMD View Post
    I'm not talking about what's legal...there probably isn't a specific law against any of that here. What I am talking about (as you seem to have picked up on) is right versus wrong: ethics, not laws. Certain ethical truths are not up for debate. An extreme example of this is murder: it's wrong no matter where you go or who you ask, and whoever says or thinks otherwise is incorrect, plain 'n simple.

    If people are going to act outside of the lines of ethics (like physically and verbally abuse their tenants) then it's probably best not to get involved with those people on any level. I think that's the point of the OP's post, and that's the point I'm trying to reinforce for incoming students.

    Thank you for the advice.
    I'd like to caution all of us in thinking of ethics as black and white because ethical "truths" are not in fact universal. To use your murder example, is it ethical to carry out lethal injection or any other form of death penalty? Is a soldier who fires his weapon and kills the man shooting back at him during a war he did not declare, is it unethical? Is abortion right or wrong? Homosexuality? You can answer each of these questions for yourself, but you cannot guarantee that everyone around you agrees. Likewise, ethics is itself cultural since it's based on both the individual's and society's interpretation of right vs. wrong. Indeed, St. Maarten is not America or Canada. If brought this whole thing up so that if we could see that distinction through the lenses of cultural relativism, I think more of us would be happier with our time on the island.

    In any case, I think most of us do agree that physically assaulting a tenant is well out of line with common decency. Even if (and I'm not suggesting it is) it's customary on the island for poor tenant/landlord relations to end in fisticuffs, we as (mostly) Americans aren't used to these kinds of confrontations, and yes, it would be better to avoid them. Kudos to the OP for bringing this to light!

    As an aside, if I ever suffer the disgrace of dropping out of medical school, be assured I'll come back to St. Maarten and build my own apartment complex, complete with 24-hr. coffee shop (with free Wi-Fi), mini-mart stocked with all the goodies you know and love, and rent half the going local rate.

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