PSI: Lease for nothing questioned

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Bev Turner was closing in on her dream of going to college.

"I always wanted to go," said Turner.

She wanted the complete experience.  It meant finding a place of her own, so she stopped by 901 Place near UNC Charlotte.

"I was like yes, I love it," said Turner.

Turner figured she made enough to afford the roughly $400 a month rent, but she didn't quite make enough to sign the lease on her own.  She would need a co-signer.

"I was all so happy," said Turner. "I told my mom, 'I got me a place, all I need is you to co-sign.'"

Her mom, unfortunately said 'no,' she couldn't co-sign. It was a disappointment that quickly turned into a much bigger problem.

Before securing a co-signer, 901 Place had Turner sign the lease and the management was telling her she still had to pay all the rent for the year.

"For something I never moved into," said Turner. "I never got a key, I never paid a deposit."

Turner wasn't allowed to move in and she says management became aggressive. She was told if she didn't pay, it would go to a collection agency.

WBTV's "Problem Solvers" visited the apartment complex and asked to speak to the manager. We asked how a person can be charged when they weren't allowed to move in because they didn't meet your financial requirements?

901 Place Manager Christina Hill asked us to leave the property and email her our questions.

WBTV sent the questions a couple different times before we got an answer.

Hill pointed to a part of the lease that said if the guaranty is not provided, the owner "shall have the right to require resident to honor resident's obligations."

WBTV also posed the same question to the North Carolina Attorney General's office.

We asked if a person can be charged rent for an apartment when they aren't allowed to move into. We were told no you can't be charged.

WBTV then contacted 901 Place's corporate office in Atlanta and left a message for the CEO.

The very next morning we got a call back from spokesperson Jessica Nix. We were told Turner's lease was not processed the right way.  The person who originally handled it is no longer with the company.  Nix also says they are embarrassed by what happened.  The company will be apologizing and Turner is no longer facing the threat of collection.

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