Tenants Call for Response to Increasing Negligence from Red Oak
Tenant council members have yet to see the Red Oak rental office and Ginter Park LLC take concerns seriously, as tenants continue to expose dangerous maintenance issues as a result of neglect from Management.
Statement from Members of the Chamberlayne Tenants Council:
Richmond, VA– After years of meeting with tenants and reaching out to Red Oak Management on the growing amount of unaddressed maintenance issues, Ginter Park LLC have yet to respond or take action on the tenants’ concerns and the conditions they are being made to live in.
“We have heard and seen dozens of horror stories of the unlivable conditions they are being made to live in, from black mold to security and structural issues. They are absolutely very quick to act when it comes to collecting unpaid rent, towing tenant’s cars, and raising rent and water usage costs. Within days tenants can expect to receive an envelope on their doors for all their neighbors to see. This only makes it clear they do not prioritize tenant concerns unless it involves collecting a check.”
A letter co-written by tenants was sent last December to Ginter Park LLC, the company that owns the dozens of apartment buildings along Chamberlayne Avenue. The letter identified several specific issues that were asked to be rectified immediately from pest control to issuing parking passes. Since January and even before, several attempts by Chamberlayne Tenants Council, Richmond Tenants Defense Council, Richmond Tenants Union, tenants, and local news outlets have been made to reach anyone on the phone or by letter with Red Oak/Ginter Park.
“The Red Oak leasing office continues to be difficult to contact and slow to act and the issues tenants are being forced to live in are only growing more dangerous. The lack of professionalism and outright disrespect for hardworking people only proves that Red Oak/Ginter Park management is not taking these problems seriously.”
On January 13th, Red Oak tenants up and down Chamberlayne participated in a call-in day to make sure their demands were being heard at the Red Oak rental office. A source revealed that Elliot Bialostozy, owner of Ginter Park LLC and Red Oak Apartments, was aware of the phone zap and purposely took leasing office workers out for lunch to ensure that no one would be available to respond to maintenance requests. After the organized phone zap, tenants were encouraged to share their experience living at Red Oak by leaving a review on their website. Tenants have been working to get in contact with Red Oak management and ownership since before the pandemic. Scathing reviews can be found from over two years ago that still echo what tenants are dealing with today.
“Ain’t nobody ever been in the office long enough for us to actually get to know them, to establish any type of relationship to respect. The way I feel about it is the people in that office don’t give a fuck about us. We are a paycheck to them and barely that because the majority of them avoid even dealing with us and still get paid. They don’t answer the phones, they don’t respond to emails, they don’t return calls. They don’t do anything. I’m trying to figure out how you operate as a business, not dealing with the individuals that are supposedly keeping you afloat?”
“This is the worst managed situation I have ever been a part of. I mean, you call, they don’t answer. You call again. They have an electronic system. They tell you a list of options. You leave a message, they don’t answer. I went to the office, filled out one of those request slips, and placed it in the box. No response.”
Stories like those of the tenants we have interviewed can be found up and down Chamberlayne.
The Chamberlayne Tenants Council, an affiliate of Richmond Tenants Union, is an autonomous tenant council made of tenants and neighbors in the Chamberlayne Avenue area. They work with a network of tenant councils to form the backbone of a broad front to fight for housing justice in the face of the crises of debt, low wages, and high rent.