Ashford Tenants Seek Accountability for Issues at Apartment Complexes

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Rising rents and lack of maintenance are two of the issues that are frustrating tenants about the management company operating apartment complexes in Ashford.

“There’s mold in the bathroom. There’re cracks in the wall.”

Those are the living conditions Derrick Connolly says he deals with living at Birch Hill Apartments in Ashford. He and his partner, Carissa, say it’s a health and safety issue and they haven’t gotten much help from property maintenance recently.

“They don’t show up and then they say they do and then close out the work orders and it’s just nonsense,” Carissa Johnson-Connolly said.

And they’re not alone. There were also issues at another apartment on the same property with creaky floors and cracked walls. On top of that, lease renewals show rents were raised by a few hundred dollars.

“It’s not going to let us live comfortably. It’s struggling living paycheck to paycheck as it is,” Derrick Connolly said.

They’re holding the new property managers, Up Realty responsible. The company manages at least four properties in Ashford.

A field manager with Up Realty claims all issues have been resolved at the Ashford properties and she’s unaware of any current issues. She was unable to comment on the rent increases, but says renovations are being made to “better the area”.

Town officials held a meeting for tenants Wednesday night to address the issues. While they can’t legally address the rent increase, they say a local attorney is looking into possible legal action on potential health code violations.

“Either we can embarrass them into doing something or hopefully just change what is going on and give these people better living conditions,” said Melissa McDonough, Town of Ashford director of youth and social services.

For the Connollys, they want to see accountability from Up Realty.

“Say what you’re going to do. Do what you’re going to say. We’ve been here for years. We’re loyal tenants. We pay our rent. Take care of us,” Derrick Connolly said.

Any tenants that wish to share their concerns is encouraged to reach out to McDonough at the town hall.

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