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Life In My “Luxury Apartments”

Detrese Dowridge, a Right to Housing Alliance Leadership Council Member is a resident of Sage Management properties. She has been fighting for safe living conditions and fair accounting practices from Sage the entire four years she has been a resident there. In March, she and two other Right to Housing Alliance Members filed a class action lawsuit against Sage for predatory accounting practices or “fee churning,” intended to keep tenants in a cycle of debt, and to keep Sage profiting. Detrese tells her about life in Sage Management’s “Luxury Apartments.”

By Detrese Dowridge.

Recently there have been major renovations to Sage properties: A sign placed on the properties of apartments including the complex that I currently reside in. The new sign now reads “Parklane Luxury Apartments.” I’ve been living at these apartments for about four years and trust me it hasn’t been luxurious.

Other tenants including myself have to put up with mice, roaches, mold, cracking walls, leaking ceilings, electrical problems, and lack of heat in the winter with no working a/c units in the summer. The water heater always goes up on a daily basis in our luxurious apartments. Those are just the living conditions… the illegal fees they like to tack on are a whole other story.

So, if you want to live this life of luxury then Sage Management is the place to be. It is so unfortunate that there are landlords like Sage Management who don’t care that their tenants are living in the conditions we face. Instead of treating their tenants with dignity, they treat their tenants like dollar signs. We all enjoy the Facebook photos of Sage staff volunteering for the Maryland Food Bank… but where are the maintenance men for our complex? Where are the office clerks when we need assistance? Where are the exterminators when we call about infestations? Where is the luxury in this?

It’s easy to say, “well, just move.” However, its no secret, the housing crisis that exist here in Baltimore City with the eviction rates constantly increasing, unfortunate foreclosure rates, privatization of public housing and the Mayor’s new plan to move in 10,000 new families, while current Baltimore natives are all in search of safe and affordable housing. To be taken advantage of and lied to for profit is something worth standing up against. Not just for the RIGHT NOW but for the future of housing.

We all must come together and stand up to these landlords who think they can treat us this way and get away with it. When I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Horwitz, the owner of Sage Management, I asked if he was aware of the conditions his tenants are living in. The only response he gave was “my taxes are going up,” while the properties continue to deteriorate with tenants still living in them.

Sage Management is misrepresenting the state of their apartments to attract future tenants instead of correcting the existing challenges to at least make “luxury” half true.

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