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Friday, August 19, 2005 

Continuing to Fight the Man

Here's the letter I wrote to the newspaper journalist about my apartment situation:

Mr. Schneider,

Per our telephone conversation on Friday, August 19, 2005, I am emailing you about a situation I encountered with Beacon Lake Apartments in Mason, MI. I hope that you choose to cover this story as it can serve a lesson to many people who rent apartments in this area, especially the college students at MSU.

I moved into Beacon Lake Apartments in August 2004. I told the office staff that I would like an 800 sq. ft. apartment. They showed and lead me to believe I was viewing an 800 sq. ft. apartment; therefore, I was satisfied with it and signed the lease. I moved in the following Sunday when I discovered that the apartment they rented to me was not 800 sq. ft. but in fact, it was 720 sq. ft. The only way I figured this out was because the 800 sq. ft. apartment had a walk in closet. Normally I would not have had a problem with the smaller apartment, but I needed the larger closet, and I felt like I was deceived. I called the apartment manager, Ms. Sally Sheridan and she transferred me to a larger apartment 18 days later. However, I was now asked to sign a new lease for September 2004. I was also asked to bring in my old lease so it could be destroyed. I didn’t know that this would later pose a major problem.

Fast forwarding to July 2005, I sent Beacon Lake a 30 day notice and told them I would be moving August 28, 2005. They sent me a letter back saying that my lease was not up until September 2005, and I owed the apartment approximately $400. This was due to the fact that I signed a new lease 18 days after the first lease. I spoke to the manager, Ms. Sheridan, again, and told her that I completed my year commitment to the apartment and I did not feel that I should pay for the additional 18 days, since it was their mistake in the beginning by renting an apartment that was smaller than what I requested. Ms. Sheridan could not help me, so I asked to speak to the owner, Dave Wickens. Mr. Wickens informed me that he did not talk to tenants about lease information and if I had a problem, I could contact his lawyer, Ms. Candace Wilson.

Ms. Wilson was on vacation when I called her, so I spoke to her associate, Mr. Chris Brown. Mr. Brown was very pleasant on the phone and we scheduled a time to meet to discuss the matter. However, before giving me the directions to his office, his demeanor suddenly changed and he told me that he was not going to charge Beacon Lake for a meeting that would take place in five minutes over the phone and he was refusing to meet in person with me. I then agreed to a conference call the following day. However, I cancelled that call as I received some valuable advice from an attorney I previously worked with.

In the meantime, I contacted Mr. Bruce Johnston at the Ingham County Housing Commission Administration. I gave him all the details of the situation without revealing the name of the apartment complex. He immediately recognized the complex as Beacon Lake. I explained to him that I never had any problems with my rent or apartment, and that during the course of my tenancy, I made a useful suggestion to the manager which the complex later adopted. He informed me that they are notorious for sticking to the letter of their lease, and it was unfortunate that even though I fulfilled my year commitment to them, they were not even willing to discuss the matter with me to work out a compromise.

To this day, the problem has still not been resolved. I have since written Beacon Lake a letter stating specifically why I have concerns about the additional $400 they are asking for. As of today, I have not heard back from Beacon Lake.

I am asking you to do a news story about this in the Lansing State Journal in order to warn other renters about pitfalls they may encounter when renting an apartment. Most landlord/tenant relationships are very amicable. However, there are rare times when landlords or even renters chose not to resolve problems directly and fairly. With school starting very soon and both students and Mid Michigan residents looking for apartments, these renters should know their rights and how to protect themselves as renters.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. If you have any additional concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. During the week, I can be contacted at my office at: After hours I can be contacted on my cell phone at:

About me

  • I'm young, single, got a great ass, a serial dater, a sometimes drunk, addicted to the gym, liable to make fat girls cry, have a mild ED, think Notre Dame is the greatest college and Texas is the greatest state. Currently at a standstill since moving from Detroit Area, Michigan (tons of yuppies) to Mason, MI (noted KKK presence). Come be a part of my random, shocking, and exciting world.
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