I lived at The Knolls for 11 months, and overall I would say that it was a decent experience. For the seven years previous I lived in a small "mom and pop" rental, so moving here to a large "professionally managed" complex took some getting used to. What attracted me was the great location with gorgeous mountain views, the really nice grounds, and the fantastic pool area. Also, the price was right, at least for a two-bedroom, and the apartment itself was spacious and came with a washer and dryer. Really loved the layout too! What I didn't appreciate was that no one, not even Colorado Springs Utilities, would tell me how much utilities were going to be, which is the main reason why I am writing this review. I agree with the previous reviewer completely that these are the most energy-inefficient apartments ever. Electric baseboard heating, super low-quality windows, and no effort made to seal up places where air comes in makes for ridiculously high electric bills in the winter. Seriously, just take a look at all the daylight you can see around the air-conditioner before you move in. Expect to pay 25% of your rent in electric alone in the winter. More if you are not conservative. You will also be paying for water, sewer, and trash. The management neglected to mention I'd also be billed every month for pest control, real estate tax, and a service fee for the convenience of receiving a bill for my rent and all of these things. Sheesh....talk about nickel and diming! You might also want to pay for a carport if you'd like to park anywhere near where you actually live, as there's not enough unreserved parking for everyone. On any given night, most if not all of the unreserved parking is full. So, if you can afford a carport or two, and don't mind the super-high utilities, it's not a bad place to live. I found the maintenance to be above-average, with requests being handled promptly. I didn't have any problems with break-ins, nor with my neighbors.
I have lived in about 10 apartment complexes in my lifetime, and I have mixed feelings about living here. If I could, I'd give it 2.5 stars.
First, the good:
I like the location and placement of the apartments themselves. It looks like they are arranged so most units do not face a parking lot, and it also feels like they are built with an emphasis on isolation, or privacy, if that makes sense. Even though there were a lot of units and tenants at this place, I did not really feel 'crowded' like I would at other complexes. If you have dogs, there's plenty of green space between the buildings to walk them around in.
The maintenance staff were great! Very responsive, helpful, professional, and friendly. Most issues I had were resolved quickly, and the one that had to wait a while was becuase they were missing a spare part, and had to wait over the Christmas holiday for it to be shipped.
Now, the not so good:
These units are absolute energy black holes. They lose heat very quickly in the winter time, and have a very hard time staying cool in the summer. I have not had energy bills so high since I lived in California. I am comfortable in saying that the energy costs of living here would be equivalent to living in a decently built 4,500 sf house. And I tried to mitigate these energy losses, mostly by throwing blankets over draft spots, but it helped very little. Be ready for winter energy costs that are about 25% of your rent. This is what I experienced, and I have a hard time believing that other units would not be the same. Leasing office staff don't really care. To illustrate: we had a fire in an adjacent building, and the fire and smoke damage was bad enough that 3 out of the 4 tenants had to move out. I talked to one of those tenants a couple weeks after this fire, and he told me that the office staff hadn't even reached out to him with a phone call, let alone a visit to inspect the damage. Being a disaster victim myself (see: Manitou Springs flooding), I find this extremely upsetting. And it tells me that management cares about your rent check way more than the welfare of its tenants. Not to say I've had any landords that have been much better than this, but I don't think this should be the norm. Lastly, if you do end up moving here, I would sign the shortest lease possible. And God forbid you have to move out of town before your lease ends, because the lease termination fees are OBSCENE. When all was said and done, it was about 4 months worth of rent to move out. Shame on me for moving mid-lease, but life happens, and I don't believe this penalty is representative of the costs the complex sees due to me leaving early. So, in conclusion, I would say this apartment complex is extrodinarily mediocre. Would I recommend this apartment to a friend? Probably not. And nope, I'm not afraid of this review being posted under my name. Edit: I felt I had to add something after I saw some other people's reviews for the apartment. I thought most of my neighbors were fine folk. Sometimes a stereo would be blasting too loudly, and most everyone kept to themselves, but I had no problems with anyone.
I just moved out of the apartments and I would tell everyone to NEVER move here. For starters the office ladies are horribly rude and have no manners when it comes to dealing with people. Getting maintenance done in the apartment is a nightmare. When I first moved in, my washer would fill up and then would not drain so I had stagnant water sitting in my home. It took someone coming out 3 times over the course of a few weeks to finally fix the problem by replacing the washer. My garbage disposal broke towards the end of my lease and after waiting over a week for some one to show I called the office back and no one had even put my maintenance request in. Now to move on to the residents. I don't know what kind of qualifications that started using to select tenants, but there are some extremely trashy and shady individuals now living there. There are babies in diapers running around and dogs running loose and you can hear people fighting all the time or revving their truck engines for extended periods of time, I'd rather live next to a busy highway. There have been multiple vehicle break ins to the point the property management had to hire security and the one time I ran into the security officer he appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while making his rounds at night. When I first arrived at the apartments when I moved in (I moved from out of state) there was paint peeling on every wooden surface (stairs, front patio, and back patio) I understand the weather is harsh in Colorado but a bucket of paint is not going to cost you an arm and a leg, it's just sheer laziness. I had multiple cabinet doors fall off through the lease, luckily my boyfriend is a handyman and I didn't have to call out the maintenance. Upon moving out I know I needed touch up paint for a few spots in the apartment and requested a can so that I could do it myself. I was told that it was not necessary and we would not be charged for the touch ups after we moved, then I am told I was charged $60 for them to touch up a few spots in the apartment. I should add that one of the reasons I left, aside from the above, I received my lease renewal papers and they were upping my lease, but when I looked online they were only asking $818/mo for the same floor plan vs the $860/mo they were trying to raise my rent to. If someone has been a good tenant for well over a year you should not raise their rent.
I have lived in many apartments and the time that I lived at The Knolls at Sweetgrass was probably THE WORST apartment experience I have ever had.
Currently in the process of moving out of this apartment complex.Shady neighbors, lots of vehicle break-ins and a generally dumpy complex (peeling paint, dog poop everywhere) are not something worth paying over $1000 per month for in my opinion. Calling it a gated community is false. The gates are open all day long and it's easy to follow cars into the complex if you just sit and wait outside. There is nothing to keep people from walking into the complex either. On the plus side we had a washer and dryer in the unit which was nice and the pool is a nice place to hang out in the summer. Location is ok being close to the grocery store and highway but the amount of dodgy people hanging around isn't the best. Not the worst but not the best for my money.