Submitted by hhh347 t3_10ip77n in boston

I understand I should have done better research when signing a lease but my roommate and I are students and at the end of the day the only thing we could afford was an apartment with alpha management, even after knowing they were bad. We didn’t expect it to be literally unliveable conditions - definitely a learning experience.

From day one our experience has been awful. Our apartment was not cleaned when we moved in and it took them two days to send two ladies with a mop. We ended up deep cleaning the whole thing ourselves, whatever not that big a deal. But a red flag because they never fixed the HUGE holes in our walls and ceilings. Then, in my bedroom the ceiling hole started leaking water and it was raining in my bedroom. I called endless amounts of times and no one came. Eventually it grew black mold and they sent a guy who just painted over it and didn’t fill the hole or fix the mold.

We got a rat in our apartment that chewed up the floor, shit everywhere etc. it took alpha 5 days to even give us the number of an exterminator so we had a huge rat living in our apartment for 5 days.

Now we have roaches. I tried calling the exterminator directly but they ended their contract with alpha and when I called alpha they said that they don’t have an exterminator right now (I don’t know how that’s legal). There’s been numerous other problems but those are the biggest ones.

I’ve tried getting the city involved but the health inspector cancelled the appointment because it didn’t fit in his schedule. I’ve documented everything, sent emails with photos to alpha management etc. it just seems like no one is on our side. Does anyone have experience with this or any advice??? I’m at the end of my rope



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LIATG t1_j5fr0zx wrote

> I’ve tried getting the city involved but the health inspector cancelled the appointment because it didn’t fit in his schedule.

push this up the chain of command if you can. if you can't, contact your city councilor and mention this behavior, that might free up some room in this schedule. they absolutely shouldn't be cancelling on you without proper followup


UltravioletClearance t1_j5ftume wrote

This. Find the original email and CC everyone from the health inspector's immediate supervisor to the mayor, and the city council. Demand immediate action be taken due to the serious threat to life and safety.


aray25 t1_j5fu1ap wrote

That is completely unacceptable. Definitely complain to the city council.


Chippopotanuse t1_j5fu1nj wrote

Yeah, they typically come out right away from emergency inspections. Keep calling and get someone out there. Get the violations in writing.


nullness666 t1_j5gjaqd wrote

Do all this, but recognize not a fucking thing will happen. I lived in an alpha realty building in 2005, it had roaches, multiple water leaks resulting in the kitchen ceiling collapsing, spitting jet black mold covered concrete all over everything. They never fixed it and I ended up moving out 3 months early because I became extremely sick. When I moved in, there was trash and used needles ALL OVER THE PLACE. That was nearly 20 years ago, good to know nothing has changed.


hhh347 OP t1_j5gqhkf wrote

Oh my god I’m so sorry that happened wtaf


nullness666 t1_j5grb6d wrote

This was directly next door to the MFA, that's how few fucks the city gives.


hhh347 OP t1_j5grymn wrote

Did you manage to break your lease without penalty or did you pay everything that was left?


nullness666 t1_j5gtq9e wrote

I paid because it was easier than spending more money and time than I could afford going after them. While I lived there I was called out by the building inspector for having an empty 6 pack on my table, a mild risk he said... Meanwhile, my room was next to the non working elevator with a giant dead cockroach in the case where a fire extinguisher was supposed to be. There were live wires hanging from the ceiling of the basement, and the windows to the entryway were broken. They must bribe the city in other words, how else does this keep going on? I can't think of another reason.


NoButThanks t1_j5kifna wrote

Lol, I had alpha and it was the bathroom ceiling. Twice.


hhh347 OP t1_j5ggkar wrote

Thank you to everyone on this comment - I’m following up first thing tomorrow!


hhh347 OP t1_j5juzxe wrote

Got someone to come but they can’t come until Feb. 1st :( I guess for now I have to fight it on my own unless I can somehow push


Guilty_Scheme_6215 t1_j5nhs89 wrote

There are a massive amount of tenants rights programs in MA, I recommend calling 211 to see if GBLS, Suffolk, or Harvard will give you a hand.

Don't let the property management co push you around, you have a lot of tools in your arsenal. Definitely make sure the health inspector comes out. Check out masslegalhelp and click around on the pages that apply to you. You can also inbox me with questions you may have regarding the situation as I do this stuff for a living. I won't be able to take you on as a client but I'm always happy to provide info and contacts.


dhoffer82 t1_j5mm0sz wrote

Contact your city Councillor. Not the at large folks, they don’t do constituent services well. Call your district Councillor. They will get inspectional services out there and make a real problem for Anwar. Fuck that guy. I was an Alpha renter 10 years ago. It was an illegal attic apartment with no fire egress. I happily skipped out on the last two months rent and told them to keep my deposit. Fuck them.


Dizzy_De_De t1_j5gqpv4 wrote

Your lease has a habitability clause.

Identify the current conditions that violate the State sanitary code

Take pictures of the violations and send a certified letter to your landlord with a demand that they fix the current violating conditions within 48 hours.

Send a copy of that letter/pictures by email to:

HOUSING Paul Williams, Assistant Commissioner, 617-961-3389,

Along with proof the last inspection was cancelled and ask for his help.


hhh347 OP t1_j5grgjc wrote

I cannot thank you enough for this 🙏


lolabologna t1_j5hkohk wrote

I don’t know what kind of roaches you have or how many other units your place shares walls with but German roaches (the small brown ones) are hella hard to get rid of. Like typical treatment in a house, that doesn’t share walls with other people, takes 6 weeks. When you share walls with people, every unit you share a wall with should be inspected because other units could be the cause. German roaches are attracted initially to uncleanliness. Adults lay 4-8 eggs in their lifetime; eggs can produce 30-48 roaches, and they become adults without 1 1/2 months to 3 months. This is why German roaches quickly become an infestation.

I am a property manager in Texas so I’m familiar. German roaches also led to some intrusive thoughts and diagnosed OCD. I take these seriously and they can 100% cause inhabitability issues. They can also contaminate your food and carry bacterial diseases.


hhh347 OP t1_j5jyqzc wrote

They seem to be larger and dark almost black so fingers crossed they aren’t. I’m already having nightmares every night about these things, and my anxiety has skyrocketed since moving into this apartment. It’s really good to know that there are property managers who care. I told the city inspector that they might want to look at other units as well. Thank you for this!


[deleted] t1_j5h70ig wrote



DerekMcLeod t1_j5hs23s wrote

As I understand you do not need to put rent in escrow in MA.

OP /u/hhh347, I would write to your landlord and let them know that under Mass law you’re legally allowed to use up to four months of rent payments to make reasonable repairs and that you intend to due so if they don’t respond within 5 days and that you’ve contacted the Board of Health and they’re coming to inspect(even if they aren’t)

Stuff like this is garbage.

Tweet at Michelle Wu, Tweet pics at Universal Hub, tweet pics at Only In Boston. Force their hand.


QueenOfBrews t1_j5fp1b8 wrote

Time to withhold rent.


xxgunther420 t1_j5gx4ux wrote

My apartment was 58 degrees and landlord wouldn’t fix it. Sent an email saying you’re in violation of mass regulation 410.201 and I will start withholding rent. They fixed it in 2 days and 3 groups of maintenance men were over within 24 hours. Maybe just lucky but worth a try to start hard balling them, they are breaking the law if your apartment is in that condition.


hhh347 OP t1_j5jyx45 wrote

Used this when I called this morning 🙏


xxgunther420 t1_j5k7rll wrote

There are a number of renter protection laws, make sure you do a quick dive to find some that are more relevant to you. I filed complaints with the city Cambridge for my last landlord and it helps to have emails and stuff to go back to, try to get everything from them in writing or follow up a call with an email that says “we just talked and covered A B and C, is that correct?” To cover yourself


saucisse t1_j5guhby wrote

What hold does Alpha have on the lawmakers in MA that this is allowed to continue without penalty?


KingFucboi t1_j5h9brl wrote

My understanding is they just pay the fines. The logistics it would take to properly prep every apartment in boston on 9/1 doesn’t exist so they just run it and deal with the consequences .


Ok_Olive9438 t1_j5itgi2 wrote

My understanding is the opposite, that they don’t pay their fines, and the city has given up on going after them.


NEU_Throwaway1 t1_j5l8n5w wrote

They also know exactly what they are doing. Probably preying on college students that are broke and don't have the time, money, or legal knowledge to go after them via legal means.

And if they did try something themselves like withholding rent, there's a good chance they won't have followed all of the prerequisite steps and documentation necessary and will threaten eviction, which will essentially prevent them from renting another apartment in the future with that kind of mark on their record.


hhh347 OP t1_j5llwwm wrote

Yup that’s exactly my fear. The whole process is so confusing and this is our first apartment - not to mention the pressure to sign a lease during the hunting season that is finding a Sep. 1 apartment near a school


SpammityCalamity t1_j5h8ahm wrote

Does anybody have “fuck you” money to rent out 4 billboards around the city warning people about Alpha? This racket has been going on for decades and Anwar Faisal is still a piece of shit. Boston Magazine even has ARCHIVES on him.


TwistingEarth t1_j5h0zxc wrote

The guy who runs it says he’s a victim of racism every time people complain. He’s a complete piece of shit. We should limit the amount of apartment buildings (and houses) one person or a company can own.


Citizen999999 t1_j5g3wuf wrote

I had an apartment with these people about 16 years ago (yes I'm old) and they are complete scumbags. At one point I got so frustrated with them I just broke the lease and left.


Artificial_Sage t1_j5fq62q wrote

I’m sorry to hear that. Idk where your apt is but according to my previous experience of dealing with AM, you’ll have to visit their office to make them reach out to whomever they need to in front of you, otherwise nothing will be done.


northeasternlurker t1_j5gw002 wrote

Start withholding rent until they make changes and are not in violation of your lease. Deposit the money in a separate account so you have it on record.


quaesemper_ t1_j5hoyig wrote

stop paying rent, thats the only language they'll understand. cummings llc is no better and i've had to withhold rent before to get anything done


Adventurous-Lunch-41 t1_j5he5pp wrote

We also had a really bad experience with Alpha Management in 2022. They purchased our building mid lease and jacked up rent in our building 8-10%, turning over the entire building. Our radiator pipes banged at all hours of the night and our unit was always 80 degrees in the winter. They never responded to maintenance requests. We were lucky to have someone takeover our lease at the right time.


wolfenkraft t1_j5he3og wrote

Wow I haven’t thought about alpha in years. I remember when I lived on Gardner I caught one of their employees peeping in apartment windows and he made up some story about some other guys running an unlicensed garage were going to hurt me.


hhh347 OP t1_j5icnk8 wrote

Oh my god?? I’m really sorry that happened


PeePooDeeDoo t1_j5gpz3s wrote

Don’t pay rent till they fix everything!


cathouse1320again t1_j5icudj wrote

If you’ve been truthful here, you’ve already done more than enough to trigger remedies, if I were in your position I’d take all the documentation right to the Globe or Herald and see if they’ll help, if that doesn’t work, go to the consumer reporter at one or more of the local news shows, embarrass the management company as much as you can, BE the squeaky wheel.


slimeyamerican t1_j5gg63c wrote

I remember looking for an apartment a few years ago I asked a realtor to give me the behind the scenes on the worst companies in Boston. Obviously Alpha was the first one he mentioned. Sorry you’re dealing with that, I just wish students like you did more research because no offense but you’re kind of the reason companies like them have been able to survive for so long-they prey on uninformed students who don’t know to avoid them like the plague. But hey, if you can give them some headaches now you’ve got my complete support!


hhh347 OP t1_j5ghklj wrote

Trust me I’ve been beating myself up about it since the day we moved in 😭sucks to learn it this way but going forward I know it’ll be worth it to suck it up and pay a little more


Reckless--Abandon t1_j5giyzp wrote

Nah don’t let them victim blame you because of a piece of shit corporation


DerpWilson t1_j5gheyb wrote

I dunno, but if I were you I’d document everything and stop paying them a cent.


JudgeArthurVandelay t1_j5i7u1r wrote

I’m pretty sure I used to live above their office in Allston and I could hear the owners/management people SCREAMING at each other all the time.


brufleth t1_j5jfuio wrote

You've already got some great help in this thread, but I just want to add that you should start documenting all communications. It might seem like a stupid waste of time, but if you can just start a spreadsheet listing dates of events or who you contacted when it'll potentially be very helpful.

You'll need something like this when/if you start withholding rent and it'll help simplify communication with inspectors, city councilors, or whoever in the mayor's office.

May even come in handy when you move out and Alpha tries to keep your deposit because they're a trash company.


Se7enLC t1_j5i5poh wrote

Lot of great suggestions for how to use the law to force the landlord to fix things. But at the end of the day, it's never going to be somewhere you want to live. So no matter what, move out.


jimmywells99 t1_j5iok2n wrote

You need to call the city health inspector again. Don’t say too much: tell them “no heat” which will get them there fast. Show them all the other things. If they ask about heat say it came back on…


Ninaverbena t1_j5jm9ha wrote

Lived on Harvard Ave next to a bodega and Myung Dong between 2018-2020 and it was hell. We had the exact same problems and never got anything done because their maintenance is worse than awful. The only saving grace we had was a health inspector came in and found a broken window, rats, roaches, and BLACK MOLD in our bathroom. They only fixed the window and mold. I hate to say it but it really is a learning experience. We also didn't listen to bad reviews and all the warnings and we were also all full time students. Unless you can find a way to break your lease, just try to stick it out and move out as soon as you can. Know now that the next time you're looking for a place to stay, you'll have this experience to base off all the terrible reviews of all the other management companies in Boston.

Ps. Get a cat. Or have a friend give you a bag of used cat litter. Our mouse/rat problem immediately disappeared after my roommate got a cat and he definitely didn't hunt them the lazy ball of fur. We had friends without cats ask for dirty cat litter all the time. It's gross but the smell keeps the rodents away.

PPs. I heard that Mission Hill local landlord owned apartments are SO MUCH BETTER. Everyone shits on the individual landlords all the time but as the daughter of a landlord, if you find the right one, you'll be absolutely set. Had a friend move from one awful living situation to a nice comfy affordable landlord owned building with a private balcony, no rats, and minimal issues as well as a communicative landlord.

Every place will have its problems, but after going from literally rock bottom, you'll definitely be able to find a better place.

Also I'm no lawyer, but I think can withhold rent until it is livable. Especially with mold and leaks. I'd reach out to a rental lawyer if it's affecting your health and to see what sort of plan you can take with paying your rent.


Shemsuni t1_j5h61wu wrote

How many bedrooms and what’s your rent?


Commercial_Board6680 t1_j5jxsll wrote

Massachusetts was one of the first states to legislate Tenant's Rights laws, so I strongly suggest you get on the internet and find a TR lawyer. Most of them are either low cost or free. What you and your roommate are going through is specifically illegal and there are legal remedies to your situation.


shesprague23 t1_j5ksj99 wrote

Not a lot of advice but i live in an alpha building which they bought mid lease. They've done nothing but make things worse and increase rent. If you call the maintenance people there's like a 50% chance they'll end up screaming and swearing at you on the phone. It took them 6 months to fix my leaky faucet which is nothing compared to what my neighbors have gone through.

Our neighbors all have a group chat for kind of teaming up to deal with issues that come up like hot water or heat being out (like a twice per month occurrence during winter), their maintenance people leaving doors propped open resulting in packages getting stolen, letting brokers into our units illegally with no notice, etc. It doesn't always result in action but having a team of us to call and nag or give each other heads up about their terrible management has made me feel better. Might be worth setting something like that up if you plan to stick around.


pwhyler t1_j5kxgoy wrote

No one should have to live like this, and I still get upset thinking back on my experience living in Allston in similar conditions. I hope some of these other comments with potential solutions are able to help out.

Be as relentless as possible with the complaints, calls, and reach out to anyone you can. There needs to be harsh penalties for these landlords/companies.


Educational-Charge93 t1_j5lkbk0 wrote

They are so bad… I know someone who’s windows won’t even lock and they been giving the same “we’ll send someone over tomorrow” shpeel


hhh347 OP t1_j5lmiew wrote

They’re literally grade A liars. So polite on the phone while leaving you to rot w the pests


Educational-Charge93 t1_j5ml11n wrote

You should visit their office in Allston. Been in there 3 times and they had classic movies full blast with a very attentive audience. First time was Scarface, second time was Saving Private Ryan, third was Titanic


Southern_Tax_1336 t1_j5lv7dh wrote

I honestly don’t know how Alpha is still allowed to manage apartments. I’m sorry, but what the fuck do our lawmakers do all day? Like you said, is anyone on our side?


RollinDeepWithData t1_j5i3ona wrote

Sounds like you’ve straight up been visited by the 10 plagues.


GiveMePotatoChips t1_j5jfmev wrote

Have you checked if your school provides any resources for students who rent? I know Northeastern had an office you could go to and they would read over your lease and help students avoid being taken advantage of since a majority of their students live off campus.


ryanonaboat t1_j5h8v4j wrote

😆😂🤣 Alpha strikes again