December 30, 2011
i had horrible experiences with lobos management, i couldn't get anyone to come fix my roof after it collapsed in my kitchen for weeks, until i threatened to call the health department. we also had monthly notices that they hadn't paid the water bill, and occaisionally the garbage people would refuse to come for many weeks (outside of the city - we had a dumpster) because the parking lot got so torn up they couldn't get their truck in. i highly recommend avoiding them, although they own a lot of properties.
i'm renting from jj land co right now and i'm really happy with them. they aren't always super fast to respond if you call, but they have an office you can always walk in to, and i've found if you show up with a request it gets done right away.
Never rent from a company! Rent from an individual who owns a house or houses. Don't live in Oakland or Shadyside. You can get nice places in Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Friendship, Garfield, South Side, or, really, anywhere. Of course, the higher your budget, the better yor options, but there are nice places to be had at all kinds of prices. But companies suck, it's better to meet the owner and get a read on him or her.
August 14, 2010
Good luck! Pittsburgh is one of the worst places to rent an apartment. 9 out of 10 of the rental companies are trash. They don't maintain their properties, charge out the ass, increase rent every year no matter what, use that money to buy more properties, and so on. This is a college town, and the apartment situation is a direct result of that. I'm also looking for a place for Aug, so you can tell I'm frustrated as hell with these garbage landlords that advertise one thing and then show you another.
I've been renting an apartment from Steiner Realty for 8 years. They're pretty fast if you need something fixed. They own apartments in many areas around Pittsburgh. You should check them out. http://www.steiner-realty.com/home.html
I've rented from many companies over the last 15 years.
Good: Arbors management
Bad but tolerable as long as nothing breaks: M. J. Kelly
Freaking Awful/shouldnt be in business: Lobos Management. If you ever talk to Ron Sobol you'll want to kick a puppy. His company is completely repulsive to deal with. I'm sure karma has given him terrible tenants to balance out the universe.
I've been renting in Oakland for a few years now, and I've never had a bad experience, because I did a lot of research first. Lots of companies AND individuals are jerks and terrible landlords.
Sterling Reality is expensive, but they are amazing. My toilet seat broke, and they fixed it in a matter of days. When it was something more urgent, they fixed it immediately. I'd rent from them again in a heartbeat, if I could afford it.
Mozart is also ok, but I can imagine that they could be a hassle if you're not a model tenant or are expecting something fancy. But my place always had heat and hot water, and I never had any pests or infestations, which is more than I can say for a LOT of places in Oakland.
Stay away from Lobos and Trends. Just... don't. I was showed a Lobos apt that had mushrooms growing in the closet, and when I pointed them out, the lady just shrugged, like, "they're only mushrooms." Lady, that's a thing you should be concerned about!
As another poster said, check landorslum. It'll help you eliminate some of the terrible places and people.
I agree with Melissa, who advises against renting from a company. An individual who owns one or a few properties is ideal. I will be looking for that this summer. Right now I am renting from Brandywine Agency, and I have had a fairly positive experience - although from what I've read the positive experience depends on the property manager, and my property has a good manager. The place is clean and well-kept. HOWEVER, they will raise the rent every year and always blame it on rising gas prices - even the years when the gas price went down quite a bit. So if you end up renting from a company, Brandywine isn't bad. Just be sure to meet the on-site manager. The manager makes all the difference. If there isn't an on-site manager, be very, very cautious.
I'm not sure why so many of you are so down on Pittsburgh as a place to rent: like any city, and especially like any university town, you just have to look around, know your rights, and be willing to assert yourself when needed.
Two notes of agreement with other comments: First, Lobos Management has a terrible reputation, and my own very brief interaction with them confirms for me these reports. My advice is that you stay away from them at all costs. And second, http://www.landorslum.com/cities/pittsburgh is a good source. Obviously, you are going to get more reports from people with negative experiences, but it generally gives good insight into the sorts of things that people are dealing with.
And another thing to note: If you are a student then your probably want to live in Oakland (undergraduates), Shadyside or Squirrel Hill. There are other areas you might consider as well, but those are the three main neighbourhoods for graduate and undergraduate students. Squirrel Hill is typically cheaper than Shadyside, but Shadyside has some location benefits if you like going to bars and restaurants. The Southside is also a reasonable neighbourhood for certain temperaments, as is Friendship, Bloomfield, Lawrenceville and Regent Square.
If you are a "young professional" then you might consider Shadyside, Squirrl Hill, Point Breeze, Southside, and others.
If you are coming with school-aged children then you might want to consider going outside Pittsburgh proper, as the schools are typically better outside the city limits.
Also, re. buses: keep in mind that there are a large number of route cuts in store for us, beginning in September. Everyone is hoping the funding will come through, but last I heard is that doesn't seem particularly likely. So plan accordingly. You can find details by googling something along the lines of [pittsburgh, port authority, cuts].
I'm not a student, but I rent in Oakland and I absolutely love it here. Although it gets a bit noisy and dirty around trash day (as you'd expect), it's conveniently close to a lot of great places and since it's so close to the University, public transportation is a breeze.
While my apartment isn't perfect, it's also definitely not a dump. I've rented from Glickman Real Estate for about two years, and they've been absolutely wonderful. From what I've heard, the quality of their properties vary, but if you find one that you like they're more than willing to fix it to your specifications. I know the tenant above me requested new flooring as well as a new refrigerator even though both were more than adequate and his demands were met. They've also offered to update a lot of my stuff (flooring, bathroom, laundry facilities, parking requests), even though I'm satisfied with the way it is. The only problems I've run into have been minor (shower collapse, window blowing in, socket outage) but they've taken care of them within a day or two.
Even with the majority of Oakland being occupied by students who rapidly rotate living quarters, I've become really good friends with a bunch of the other tenants who also have stayed in the building longer than most. The only thing I'd complain about is that they request your lease renewal pretty aggressively like six months before the lease runs out so that they can rent to students if you decline.
All in all, if I wasn't living in Oakland, I'd want to live in Regent Square and around that area, I'd definitely recommend renting from an individual. When I first moved here, I tried to set up viewings with Regent Square Rentals and Mozart, and both were relatively slow with getting back to me and setting up appointments. Mozart even stood me up once and I waited for an hour and a half while they didn't answer the phone.
Good luck on your search!
September 24, 2009
Everything you need to know for your apartment hunting:
✔ *Burgh Verified*
April 6, 2012
I can tell you that after a week of scanning Craigslist, I'm already giving up on using that site. The same desperate landlords seem to dominate Craigslist all day with repeat posts. I wish I could set a filter for things like: No, I don't want your "balcony apartment" in North Hills (seems really far away).
Try Padmapper.com. It draws listings from CL (and a couple other minor places) and draws them on a map, so you can quickly narrow your search to places you actually want to live; you can filter out keywords like 'balcony' or 'basement'. It can even draw you a rough guide of what areas are within a given walking or driving time of another location (i.e., your office, or your bar, or wherever---the North Hills may not be as far away as you think, depending on where you're working).
Kamin Realty was so rude when I called to ask if they had any apartments for rent, I can only image how bad they would be when you are an actual tenant. The woman on the other end of the phone was outright confrontational just from asking when and where they might have something available. AVOID!
August 23, 2011
Truly wish I could remember the names of the people I rented from in Lawrenceville on Keystone Street 3 years ago. Slumlords, absolute slumlords.
Our fridge died and we lost all of our food because they waited well over a week to get a repair man to come look at it.
They also didn't give us any security deposit back because they claimed we ripped all of the carpet up to expose the floors. This was especially hilarious because the entire house was all hardwood floors. No carpet anywhere. They even advertised the hardwood floors to us when we initially spoke with them.
Quite a few insane landlords in this city.
Pittsburgh Wedding, Portrait and Event Photographer
Saw this on Pittsburgh Craigs List apartments and wanted to repost here. The original link is http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/apa/3021876913.html
BEWARE "Regent Square Rentals" -- Not what they appear. (Wilkinsburg NOT Regent Square)
Date: 2012-05-17, 6:05PM EDT
Reply to: email@example.com [Errors when replying to ads?]
EDIT: Thank you all who have e-mailed me in response to posting this! I've had at least 5 people in the first few hours of submitting this thanking me for posting it!! I will post this regularly and I encourage others to post their own experiences!!! THANKS AGAIN! Someone also pointed me to LANDORSLUM. COM where you can rate landlords in your area. Regent Square Rentals has a rating of 1.0 and lots of ratings already. That website is a great asset for anyone moving to Pittsburgh!
First and foremost, I was a renter of several of their properties when I lived in the area because they've really monopolized the area of Wilkinsburg NEAR Regent Square, not IN it. I was friends with many neighbors and others in my apartment complexes.
One thing we agreed on, they were slum lords, and continue to be so, but acting under a new "friendlier" name.
The fact that they boast about renting in Regent Square is blatant false advertising. These places are not in the nice areas Regent Square offers.
Now I see they've significantly increased the price(sometimes doubling on places I've had friends living in previously) for these places that are NOT updated, unless you consider painting over 100 year old walls updated.
They use fancy words, but they are not fancy. If you want a place in Regent Square, these renters will not provide it, it's on the cusp and further back into the more unsafe areas. I've had someone try to break into two places(one of them on several occasions) I lived at and things stolen off my porch.
Good news is.. they don't really care if you grow weed, according to my neighbor who had grown in his sun room. I guess that makes up for the fact that they let the ceiling rot out of his bathroom and only fixed it when the floor fell through.
I also had to sand and finish the floors in my old apartment myself.
If you don't mind that, by all means, go ahead, but the maintenance fee is a joke. They just want your money, but from being a renter for years and enjoying various parts of this city.. for the RIDICULOUS prices they are asking, you can shop around a bit more and find something truly updated and modern in a secure neighborhood with all the amenities.
Speaking for many dissatisfied renters.
If you're on craigslist and see pictures of an apartment with stuff in it, but posted by what looks like the landlord, avoid. That's a tell-tale sign that the landlords go in your place when you're not home. This shouldn't be happening and landlords shouldn't be posting pictures of their tenants personal belongings on the internet without expresses permission. Also a good sign of a bad landlord.
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