‘They shouldn’t have been letting people sign leases’: Uncommon pushes back move-in date to February

Photo by Niamh Brennan

Uncommon apartments took over six months to house student residents who originally signed leases to move-in in August.

Sadie Trowbridge is an integrated media and strategic communications major and a student employee for Boise State working at the Keiser housing front desk. Trowbridge has lived in four Airbnb’s and moved six times in the last six months. Trowbridge signed a lease with Uncommon to move in Aug. 18 of last year before the move-in date was moved to Sept. 30. then Oct. 24. The move-in date has been pushed back six times since the original move-in date of Aug 18.

 At the end of January, Trowbridge received an email from CA management services, a real estate investment services company that owns and manages Uncommon. Uncommon is set for a move-in around mid-to-late February. Uncommon updated Trowbridge Feb. 5 that the company anticipates move-in to still be delayed. 

“I get a stomach drop feeling when I see my emails,” Trowbridge said. “The last email we got I couldn’t read it. I had a coworker read it because I didn’t want to read it and see that.” 

Trowbridge is one of hundreds of students displaced due to the construction delays and inspection set-backs. She has been moving in and out of her Airbnb units and living out of her suitcase since all of her belongings are in a storage unit.

There are two options given to students displaced from Uncommon: Stay in a hotel and continue to pay rent with a $60 per day payment in gift cards or checks from Uncommon, or to find other accommodations with abated and receive $150 a day in gift cards.

“They stopped giving us exact dates because they’re like ‘we’re getting people’s hopes up,’” Trowbridge said. “But it makes it a little hard when you’re booking an Airbnb — like the one I moved into on Sunday. I have it till Feb. 29, the last day of the month, hoping that I’ll get in … maybe we’ll make it … I don’t know.”

In the email Trowbridge received, details explained how the building inspection for Uncommon is incomplete. 

“They shouldn’t have been like letting people sign leases if they weren’t going to be ready,” Trowbridge said. “Like they’re gonna push us back by like six months, they’ve gotta have known some kind of delay was going to happen.”

Trowbridge’s stressful living situation makes it hard for her to live a normal student life.

Trowbridge also talked about the emotional impact the delays have had on her. Last semester she did not have a car, and she had to depend on friends to give her rides to attend class.

Staying in Airbnbs means Trowbridge has to follow the rules of the property — like how many people she can have inside her unit, what quiet hours are and maintenance of the Airbnb. 

“And I feel so isolated from like, friends. I don’t want to go out because I’m stressed about this,” Trowbridge said. “And I don’t want to go home because it’s not my home really.” 

This semester Trowbridge now has a car, but is waiting on what happens next. 

“I’ve given up hope I’ll move in this semester,” Trowbridge said. 

A junior and kinesiology major at Boise State, Bailey Jones, is living with family in Caldwell until she can move into her apartment at Uncommon. 

Jones last year lived in Lincoln Townhomes and originally was excited to move into Uncommon. 

“We got an email I think two or three weeks before moving was supposed to happen…and it was going to be pushed back at least a month,” Jones said. “And since then, we’ve had one every month about a week or two before our move in date.”

Jones has seen other building projects and apartments around Boise and the Treasure Valley going up faster and being finished in “half the time” CA Venture’s Uncommon has. 

CA Ventures is a global real estate investment company according to the CA Ventures website, and are responsible for the management of Uncommon. The company in the past has inaccurately promised move-in dates for completed projects. 

Identity and Evolve, two student housing builds done by CA Ventures at University of Idaho were behind schedule for weeks. 

In the midwest, University of Minnesota students faced the same problem on Aug. 4 of this year.

“I thought about trying to break the lease and look for other places because I just want to be closer to school and to work,” Jones said. “But … you might have to pay back the money that they’ve given us.”

Every two weeks, Jones receives a link to claim her money for the $150 dollar a day option she chose from community rewards Uncommon set up with its tenants. In the fine print, there is a section that states, “If you move out or terminate your lease early, you may be reliable for returning the full amount of this gift.” 

Trowbridge explained during her interview how the gift cards she had wouldn’t work for her at specific stores so options were limited. Trowbridge would have low amounts of money left over, and she would have to keep track of multiple cards. Eventually, she started requesting checks. 

The Arbiter reached out to Uncommon, but has not heard back with a statement.

Trowbridge received an email update from Uncommon on Feb. 9  stating that floors 2-4 will be ready for move-in Feb. 17th, and floor 5 to be ready for move-in Feb. 24. 

Cayden Stone is a sophomore studying political science and the Government Relations Officer of ASBSU. Stone signed a lease with Uncommon last year in February, moved in the weekend  of Feb. 17th from his hotel accommodations. 

“Delays, yes, they’re inevitable, but… that’s something they could have known a long while back before a lot of us even signed leases,” Stone said. “I think going from the beginning, they could have just said they could have just been honest about it.”

Stone gave his advice to freshmen and students looking for housing. 

“Definitely make sure you’re doing your due diligence… just know what you’re signing,” Stone said. 

Leave a Reply