I don't really blame the management so much as the ownership. Both management companies were actually pretty friendly (most of the time), but they seemed to be perpetually understaffed and underfunded. The type of "corporate lease" which (illegally) requires a 60-day move-out notice on a 9-month lease is fine by me, as long as they deliver the luxuries they promise. When I moved in and decided to commit to $1450 a month for a 1-bedroom in a fairly remote location in Boulder, I expected the hot tub to be working within a couple of weeks, because, well, the leasing office told me the hot tub would be working within a couple weeks. 18 months later, the hot tub was still not working. Of course they have a million excuses, as if they couldn't have built a hot tub from scratch during that time, given enough funding. If any one of the endless chain of Canterwood leasing companies were ever caught telling the residents the truth: that the maintenance and amenities might not be up to par because the owner demands that they do everything as cheaply as possible, well, then the conveniently-anonymous owner would just fire them and hire another faceless corporation to do his or her bidding. There were a couple things I liked - the gas fireplace was nice and cozy in the winter, and they didn't charge me an excessive amount when I moved out. Still one star instead of two, however, because my girlfriend and I both got severe ear infections from swimming in the filthy pool. Of course, we should have known better than to swim in the pool... what were we thinking? This is Canterwood! They can't afford to hire enough staff to keep the pool clean.
The apartments are nice, the community is nice...But the management is terrible. I (thankfully) only had a couple maintenance issues during the year I lived there, and each time I had to call and email the staff numerous times just to get a response. The first time, after multiple unanswered calls, I left a voicemail. Two weeks later, after hearing nothing, I tried email. The person responded "Sorry, I didn't realize I had a voicemail." They said they would help me get my carpet fixed (my dog had dug up part of it, so I was going to pay for it, but I wanted to get it fixed so that she couldn't dig any more). A couple weeks later, I hadn't heard from them in a while, so I checked back in. They said they would try to get me a quote on the price. A couple weeks later I checked in again... I eventually gave up. That was six months ago and my carpet has never been fixed. I don't know if they're inept or they just don't care. When my smoke/CO detector malfunctioned, I left the defective one at the desk and was told they would "replace it ASAP". A week later, I called the desk and someone else answered, and they acted like they had no idea and no record of what had happened. I had to call and email them over and over during the next two weeks to finally get it replaced. The more you deal with these people, the more you will feel taken advantage of. About 40 days before my lease ended (when I knew I was definitely going to move), I got a notice saying "Your lease is about to end. If you don't want to renew, you must give written notice at least 60 days before the move-out date." And of course if you don't give written notice, they charge you a huge fee. And it's in the lease, so there's nothing you can do - but if you're like me, you don't carry your lease around with you, and you don't remember a year after you moved in that you have to give 60 days notice of moving out. If you think about renting here, LOOK CLOSELY AT THE LEASE. You'll find it is completely stacked against the renter. There's a statement that the landlord is not responsible for shoveling snow. There's nothing requiring the landlord to address maintenance issues in a timely manner. There's a $50 fee for turning in your rent late, and there's a statement in there that "The renter agrees to assume this fee is a result of damages caused by the rent being paid late, and not simply a penalty." How obnoxious is that?! There are all kinds of little things like that to gouge money out of the renter. So beware. Also, I don't like the way the utilities are done here. I get an electric and gas bill from Xcel, and a separate bill from Canterwood for water, sewer, trash, community electricity, etc. Of course, the Canterwood bill includes a couple "convenience fees" and "service charges" that you have to pay for no reason. And they don't charge you for the water you use - they take the total water in your building and divide it by the number of residents. So you may be very stingy with water, but if your neighbor takes hour-long showers you'll be paying for it. They also tack on various fees to your rent - for instance, my apartment was advertised as $1250 /mo, but then they added a $25/mo "washer/dryer fee" (by the way, the W/D in unit are not optional, so it made no sense not to build the W/D fee into the rent), $30/mo pet rent, and $15/mo to park in their parking lot (the worst parking lot I've ever seen - lots of big potholes and impossibly narrow parking spots). If you move here, DON'T pay $15/mo to park. You can park on the street nearby, on Eisenhower or 48th. You're better off parking on the street than in those narrow spots where your cars will get dinged every other day. All of that being said, Canterwood has recently come under new management (around April 2014). My only experience with the new staff was when I went to tell them about the carpet damage caused by my dog, and the guy told me he would call me later that week to get an estimate... And he never did. So I'm not too hopeful about the new staff.
Apartments are okay, but not worth the price. Appliances are old and fixtures are dated. Walls and ceilings are paper thin. We could hear everything. But the worst thing about this place was management. They are horrible. They are dishonest and have no respect for their residents. I had something stolen from my apartment by maintenance (I believe) and management did nothing, but deny that my work order was taken care of that day. They said no one had been in the apartment. It's fishy that something valuable disappeared from my apartment the same day my work order was suppose to be taken care of. You have the option to let maintenance in when you are not home, an option that I selected for that particular work order. But according to management maintenance did not come. My toilet just magically fixed itself. Awful awful management. All the people in the office care about is getting you into an apartment so they could get their commission. We moved out January 2014, 6 months before our lease end date.
The real problem with Canterwood is the inept and often malicious management team. I have never lived in an apartment complex that treats residents as poorly as the staff at Canterwood. They treat every request as an inconvenience to them and attempt to fine residents as often as possible to increase revenues. I personally have been fined for losing a gym key, even though they were changing systems and the old key was worthless ($50). I've been fined for not having my dog on a leash, even though most residents seem to allow their well behaved dogs to walk off leash ($35). I had my car booted while displaying a completely valid permit but because the license plate tags had recently expired (its completely illegal for a parking company to attempt to enforce this law). They also charge to pay rent online as part of a "service charge" and often block out the e-check ($5 charge) so that you have to use a card ($40 charge) if you don't want to deal with their office staff. Maintenance is terrible. Absolutely and utterly inept, and at times confrontational. Several nagging problems with the apartment were never corrected even after 3 or 4 maintenance requests. They just show up and do the bare minimum to patch the issue and cop attitude if you question their methods. The sprinkler system has been making a loud 30 second interval chirping noise for more than six months (literally drives you insane until you learn to tone it out) and still does so despite repeated complaints. The apartments themselves are fine. They do have older appliances and cheaper remodeling. They have a nice floor plan and decent square footage. The plumbing has issues and many of the drains are slow, which maintenance (see above) does nothing to resolve. I have lived at several apartment complexes similar to this one and have never had problems like these or given negative review. I would advise anyone and everyone to find a different place live. Even if the initial visit is fairly positive the nagging problems will make you hate dealing with Canterwood.
Canterwood Apartments are nice, the grounds are well-kept, management is helpful, but they're not worth the price. I moved in sight unseen, and quite frankly, for nearly $1000/month, I was a little disappointed in my 700 sq. ft. one bedroom. The appliances were in good condition, but old. Everything else was in great condition, the flooring, walls, bathroom etc. The main reason I chose Canterwood was because it had its own laundry room with full sized washers and dryers, which, with an infant was imperative. They were the only apartments I could find in Boulder with full sized laundry rooms in the unit. The monthly continental breakfasts were fun to meet my neighbors. Staff was helpful, especially when I was moving in. Repairs were made quickly, they were usually friendly and quickly honored my strange requests. But as soon as I gave notice that I was moving out, their attitudes towards me seemed to change (except Lee). Also, rent would have gone up by over $100 per month unless I signed a 13 month lease, in which case it would have only gone up $10/month. Canterwood is owned by a corporation and it shows. In some ways that's good. The managers don't have emotional ties to the place, as they aren't also the owners (I had a really terrible experience with an owner-landlord in my previous place). But in other ways, corporate rule sucks. Their rules are rigid and nonsensical. For example, I moved out a month and a half before my lease ended, checked out and everything, but couldn't get my deposit back until my lease was up. They wouldn't even try to re-lease my place for that last month because they knew that either way I would be paying the rent. So, Canterwood Apartments were nice but not as "luxurious" as you'd expect for the price. Also, I wasn't thrilled with the treatment I got while making arrangements to move out.