Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Quality at student apartments not meeting ‘standards’

CW / Riley Thompson
The Lofts is reportedly one of the apartment complexes where residents have issued complaints.

For Jaleel Washington, a May 2023 graduate of the University, seeing rats in the trash room down the hall from his apartment at The Lofts at City Center was normal. 

 Washington said that in June, his roommate noticed a leak in the ceiling. The Lofts’ management then removed the part of the ceiling that was leaking, leaving an open hole. 

 “After that, we started seeing rats in various places,” Washington said, mentioning seeing the rats in his bathroom and his living room. “We ended up having to buy glue traps and a bunch of other stuff trying to like rectify the situation … and trap the rats that were in our apartment.” 

 Washington is one of several former and current UA students experiencing subpar living conditions. Amid rising rents for student apartments in Tuscaloosa, students are struggling to find budget-friendly places, but some say the quality of apartments has not kept up with the price increases. 

The Lofts at City Center 

 After finding multiple rats in the apartment, Washington’s roommate emailed the complex several times to ask them to fix the problem and received no response. Washington then emailed the property manager about the problem and received no response.  

 Around two weeks later, he emailed the property manager twice again, once with a video of a rat in his apartment, and the manager responded saying that Washington would be moved to another unit. Washington moved units two days later.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rats can carry diseases and also carry ticks, mites and fleas that can act as vectors for diseases. 

Another student, Ivan Soto, a junior business management major, described other issues with moving into The Lofts. 

“I came into a really dirty apartment,” Soto said. Students from different units say that the room they were shown while touring was completely different than what they moved into.

“My standards were a little bit too high with what the room they showed us was like,” Soto said. 

Other students also report that their expectations during their initial tour differed from the reality of their current apartment. 

 As of Sept. 18, the cost of an apartment at The Lofts is between $409 and $655 a month per occupant depending on layout. 

 When reached over the phone, an employee at The Lofts declined to comment. 


The apartment complex Here had several students report issues with mold.  

“I have to consistently clean every part of my bathroom every day or else the mold will grow,” Oliva Harvey, a junior news media major living at Here, said. “I have a health condition where the mold can impact it severely.”  

The molding issue in Harvey’s apartment is new, according to her. She said she has made Here’s management aware of the issue but had yet to hear back at the time of the interview.  

The CDC does say there’s “always some mold around.” However, the organization also states that people with asthma or who are allergic to mold may have severe reactions. 

 Immunocompromised people and people with chronic lung disease may get infections in their lungs from mold. It also says that those sensitive to mold may experience stuffy nose, wheezing and other symptoms. 

 Harvey revealed that she has consistently been ill and traces her recent health problems to the mold in her apartment. While this is a new issue in Harvey’s apartment, she said she had made Here’s management aware of the issue but had yet to hear back. 

 Lauren Bell, another tenant at Here, feels like the issues at the apartment complex spawn from a lack of care from upper management.  

“The issue is not the people who work in the building, but the people who own the building because all they care about is money and not the tenants,” Bell said.  

 Here did not respond to a request for comment. 


At Redpoint, when some students moved in this fall, they also were met with unclean apartments, as well as visible mold. 

“It was kind of disheartening to move into your first apartment and then it’s dirty already,” Marissa Wilson, a sophomore nursing student living at Redpoint, said. 

Makenzie Johnson, a junior criminal justice major, said she moved into an unclean Redpoint apartment that had mold in the vents.  

 “As we were moving in, they were cleaning our apartment,” Johnson said. “You can imagine how hectic that was.”  

 Sanaa Taylor, a junior news media major living at Redpoint, said she had to ask Redpoint to clean her room. 

 Johnson and Taylor recalled hearing other residents complain about their apartments having mold in vents, on couches and in fridges.  

 Wilson said that when students were moving in, several parents crowded around the clubhouse trying to get ahold of the building manager to address the issues, but the manager was unavailable.  

 “I just think that, like, a general manager or the top managers should just be more accessible,” Wilson said. 

 Wilson also noted that the security gate, which is supposed to prevent non-tenants from entering, has been broken since she moved in. 

 “Being a girl living without her parents for the first time, I would like to just feel more secure,” Wilson said. “At the end of the day, I don’t hate living here. It’s just different than what I thought.” 

As of Sept 18, the cost of an apartment at Redpoint ranges between $425 and $799 a month, depending on layout.  

Redpoint could not be reached for comment. 

“My advice to those looking for an apartment: Do not get tricked,” Taylor said. 

Editor’s note: Olivia Harvey, although not currently an active contributor, has previously written for the sports desk of The Crimson White.

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