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Darian Sayfi

Chicago, IL

  • 3.1
    Avg Score
  • 1.0
    Years Avg Stay
  • 763
    Avg Rent

  • Recommended
  • 4.0

    Responsiveness

  • 5.0

    Respect

  • 5.0

    Information

  • 4.0

    Condition

  • 1.5

    Pests

  • 4.0

    Safety

  • 5.0

    Social

2.0

Do not rent at 5129 S. Harper in Hyde Park

Posted 6 days ago

PROS 1. Cheap rent 2. Friendly building superintendent/janitor 3. Security cameras all over the first floor and other key areas of the building 4. Quiet building CONS 1. Unsafe method of paying rent. People slide their rent under the office door and don't get a rent receipt 2. Too many bugs (roaches, etc) even with monthly pest service 3. Landlord allows unsavory tenants to live here, as long as they pay rent 4. Inadequate heat during fall/winter 5. Landlord is not responsive to calls or emails

  • 0
  • 3.0

    Responsiveness

  • 5.0

    Respect

  • 0.0

    Information

  • 3.0

    Condition

  • 2.0

    Pests

  • 5.0

    Safety

  • 5.0

    Social

4.1

Avoid 5129 S Harper Ave

Posted 4 years ago

Background: I lived here for a year while a U. Chicago graduate student. My main concerns were price and location near campus, food, and transport to downtown. This place achieved those goals but came with some very serious downsides (see below). The list of cons is long, but I recommend reading before you take the plunge and sign a lease here. Pros: -Price: this is one of the cheapest places you can live in Hyde Park. From June 2017 – June 2018, I paid $675/month, living in a studio on the 6th floor. Prices have increased only very slightly for the next year. -Location: literally next door to Whole Foods and Harper Court -Transportation: right next to a 6 and 172 CTA stop and Metra stop on 51st street Cons: -Mold: in the winter with the windows shut, the mold was UNSTOPPABLE. I bought mold spray, sprayed the shower area regularly and the edges of the windowsills. However, this is a fight that one may just not be able to win. Black mold would form so quickly and spread so rapidly in these areas that it felt hopeless. In the summer with the windows open or an air conditioner unit, it’s not as bad, but still a concern. Also: some cheap paint was used on the bathtub, and the paint would regularly chip off the bottom of the tub and clog the drain. -Bugs: there are roaches unfortunately, even on the sixth floor. I tried to keep my place clean and free of crumbs, but roaches still came in. I’m not sure if they spray for bugs or not. They did not spray my place while I was there. -Heat: in the fall, they did not turn the heat on for some time, well into the colder months. It was so cold at times that I bought a thermometer and considered calling the city for a violation of the ordinance. I think there were a few times when it did go below the legal limit, but I’m not totally sure. I ended up buying a space heater and blasting it throughout most of the late fall and winter (free electricity at least). Without this, my fingers were too numb to type much of the time. (Also, in the early fall, I saw a notice on the main door to the building saying that the landlord had not paid the building’s gas bill for some time. It also notified residents that they were entitled to pay it themselves and have the city force the landlord in court to pay the tenant back.) -Elevator: the elevator must be from the 1920’s or 30’s (not exaggerating). It has a large metal door that you open yourself, and then inside this is a metal grate that you pull back to enter. If you open this grate while the elevator is moving, it will stop suddenly in between floors. If someone presses the call button from above or below when you are about to get off on your floor and you do not instantly open the metal grate when you arrive, the elevator will go to where it was called without stopping on your floor at all. A couple of times while moving in, I did not stop it in time and had to unload my stuff a foot or two below my actual floor and climb out. Sometimes it makes disturbing grinding sounds. Okay, that’s all pretty tame—here’s the disturbing part: I would say it broke down and did not work almost biweekly, sometimes more frequently. Worse, it once broke down with me inside it. I was on my way down to Whole Foods, and I think someone may have called it from above? It jolted to a stop with me halfway between floors 3 and 4. First, I tried pressing the alarm button…as far as I could tell, nothing happened (I am not sure it was actually hooked up to anything?) Next, I tried pulling the “stop elevator” button in and out…nothing much. Then, I search through my phone to see if I have contact information for the landlord or superintendent. I call the management office and it goes to voicemail. I had previously been told to call the building superintendent’s room via the intercom if I needed anything, so I didn’t have his phone number. Now getting desperate, I try opening and closing the grate…nothing. I open the grate and try to push the large metal door open so that I can climb to safety…it won’t budge (it’s locked very securely when the elevator is in motion). More desperate, I start pounding on the large metal door, hoping that a neighbor will hear me. After a couple of minutes a neighbor comes out and seems almost more concerned than I am. He runs down to try to knock on the superintendent’s door, but he’s apparently out. He and another neighbor also do not have his phone number. Not knowing what to do, he tells me he’s calling the fire department. He waits downstairs for them to arrive, and they come up with something like a very large hydraulic crowbar. Even the firefighters cannot get the door open with their heavy-duty tools. They have a good sense of humor about it though and tell jokes along the way. I say, “maybe try contacting the superintendent again? He knows how to fix the elevator.” The burly firefighter says wryly, “Oh don’t you worry…we know how to fix it too…” After lots of prying, they end up taking the whole door completely off its hinges, and I climb to safety. All in all I spent about 45 minutes stuck in an old rickety elevator, with my feet sweating, and an overactive imagination picturing it suddenly plummeting to the ground with me trapped inside. After this, I made a point of never riding that elevator again, and I got some good exercise walking up and down six flights of stairs each day. -Bike Rack: I bike to and from campus each day, and many other tenants appear to as well. Despite the building having a massive lobby (it has an old fireplace and enough space for several large sofas), it remains completely bare…no furniture, nothing. This would be plenty of space for even a dozen bike racks; yet, there’s no bike rack anywhere in the building. If you leave your bike outside in Hyde Park, I guarantee parts will be stolen off it (or the whole thing will be stolen if you don’t have a large bar lock), beyond what damage the weather will do. So tenants are forced to lock their bikes to the railing inside the lobby. In the warmer months, this got too popular and there was usually no space to park a bike. Alternatively, if you feel like forcing your bike in, you will probably damage your bike or others’. This becomes a serious hassle for anyone who relies on a bike for transportation. A bike rack is a small investment that would make tenants’ lives much easier. -Washer & Dryer: although there are some old washers and dryers adjacent to the lobby, I want to reinforce what another reviewer said on here. I had my quarters eaten at least twice. You have to develop an intuition for which ones will usually be functional and/or won’t rip you off. Quite often, one of the washers would be out of service and filled with gross looking murky water. Sometimes there was a foul smell coming from the broken washer.

  • 0
  • 5.0

    Responsiveness

  • 5.0

    Respect

  • 5.0

    Information

  • 5.0

    Condition

  • 1.0

    Pests

  • 3.0

    Safety

  • 5.0

    Social