What property management companies are tolerable in Portland, OR?
June 4, 2012 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Looking for an apartment in Portland, OR, and I wondered if any MeFites know what property management companies to trust and/or avoid.

I'm moving out of my current house in Outer NE in the next couple of months and I've settled on the idea that I'd like to live in Inner NE/SE/SW. Due to a couple of terrible roommate experiences as of late, I'm moving into my own place and I am hunting.

I wondered if any of you all knew what property management companies to outright avoid or were decent. I ask this because I've been looking at some of the apartments from American Property Management. I've noticed that they are universally slammed on the internet, however, every company seems to be hated on the internet. Some friends of mine say that they are all right given they are one of the bigger management companies in town. Given the location I want to live, their prices fit my budget of $600-800 for a 1-BR with off-street parking.

So what say you Portland MeFites? Any winners? Any losers?

posted by Mister Fabulous to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have not used them personally, but I have friends who have had pretty good things to say about Capital Property Management - and they generally have listings in the inner NE/SE/SW/NW for in that price range.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:11 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

My friend rents an apartment from Round Hill Pacific (though they're mostly NW I think) and loves it. I've heard bad things about Star Metro, so you might want to avoid...
posted by actionpact at 3:53 PM on June 4, 2012

FWIW, finding an apartment to rent in inner Portland is a real bitch, generally, and much harder than finding a room in a house (ime). Most management companies will post their listings on their own website as well as craigslist, so I'm not sure you'll do a whole lot better looking at specific management companies than you will just being on craigslist every moment of the day (things go really, insanely fast).

I have a feeling that most management companies are probably about the same as far as ease of working with, etc. They all have to abide by certain laws, but most probably do about the minimum they have to do, at least for places that rent in the 600-800 range (which is always about what I've rented at).

Being flexible about your neighborhood will be your biggest advantage over many people looking, and I generally think places in the SW go slower and are less competitive than the inner east side, largely because of the hipster factor (i'm not a hater; i've long lived inner NE and love it).

I guess my basic point is that - and I understand wanting to go with a management company, as it has it's advantages - is to remain flexible on who you'll go with as far as the companies go. If they are decently reputable, well, they'll probably be fine, because the competition for apartments is so high and crazy as it is, you may not have a huge choice. It's better to find an apartment and a location that you really like, I think, than to get too concerned over what company owns the property. Then again, there might be some real horrors out there I just don't know about (all my renting horror stories have been with people who owned properties - I've had comparatively decent experiences with management companies).
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:19 PM on June 4, 2012

Avoid Holland Residential. I have a friend whose rent got raised 30% with basically no notice right before she renewed her lease. They drove her and most of her neighbors out so they could make a bigger profit.
posted by Kimberly at 5:17 PM on June 4, 2012

Seconding Round Hill Pacific, they're good people, though yeah, pretty much NW properties.
posted by furiousthought at 5:28 PM on June 4, 2012

Remember that there's a difference between property management companies that own lots of complexes and those that manage complexes for property owners.

I'm pretty sure American Property Management owns most of its buildings. In my experience, the buildings can be old, have old appliances, avocado-colored carpet, etc., but APM is relatively decent about fixing problems when they arise and preventing its properties from decaying to slum status.

I lived in a Holland Residential building for awhile, too, but it was managed by Holland and owned by somebody else. My rent was actually shockingly low. I asked why, and was told, "That's what the landlord wants."

NEVER rent from Mike Selker. He owns a bunch of property in North and Northeast, and he lies to tenants, and terminates leases for those who initiate (or threaten to initiate) legal proceedings when he violates tenant rights.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 6:47 PM on June 4, 2012

APM is cheap, so unsurprisingly their apartments are old and generally a little beat up. If you're okay with that, they've been a-ok in my experience. I got my damage deposit back last time and am currently renting from them again.
posted by momus_window at 6:48 PM on June 4, 2012

Avoid Riverstone Residential and their The Vue apartment. Poorly maintained property, the staff will never charge you correctly, and you won't see a dime of your security deposit.

Good luck. Portland is a tough city for renters.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:13 PM on June 4, 2012

Back when we were renters we had much better luck going with indie complexes than with any of the ones managed by the bigger companies. We had especially lousy luck with APM where we lived for an entire year in a building with no hot water in the kitchen and giant sewer rats that regularly died in the walls. Despite daily calls they did nothing. We did get our whole deposit back--despite the fact that the next door neighbors trashed our unit in a wild fight with eachother the day we moved out.

We lived in at least a couple of five-plexes that were owned and run by folks who either also lived in the building or across the street. This was long enough ago that we found them in the paper (either the Merc or the Willie Week), but I have to imagine Craigslist is the place today. I see one of our old landlords pretty regularly around town, he still remembers me, is still super friendly, and he still owns the place.
posted by togdon at 7:26 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

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