A furry, brown spider the size of two quarters crawled from underneath an unfinished baseboard between the window and floor in Brooke Senterfitt’s Liv+ Gainesville apartment.
Senterfitt hurried to spray it with the killer bug-spray Raid, but said the spider was unfazed and raced back into the hole in the baseboard.
One problem in her apartment had disappeared, but others were more persistent and could not be chased away.
While Liv+ delayed move-in dates at the end of August, residents like Senterfitt, a 21-year-old UF history junior, moved in September to find spiders, construction materials, paint splatters on the floor and windows without blinds. Liv+ residents also dealt with WiFi outages and doors that were difficult to lock.
Liv+, located at 1900 SW 13th St, was recently constructed, so the staff is adjusting to the new space, wrote Jennifer Cassidy, chief operating officer of Campus Advantage, the property management company that oversees Liv+, in an email.
“The perspective is that this is new construction,” she said. “There is always things to be learned.”
She added that residents can reach out to on-site staff to address any issues they come across.
Residents of Hub Third Avenue, another recently built apartment complex managed by Core Spaces, shared similar stories.
Maintenance and construction workers will fix issues in the upcoming week as residents report them, she said. The building has been fumigated and will continue to use pest control services, she added.
For Senterfitt, the experience has been frustrating because she signed up for an Albert Design apartment with rent at $1,345 per month. Upon moving in, she said the style resembled a studio and didn’t have a door between the kitchen and bedroom.
Cassidy said she couldn’t comment on the floor plans because she didn’t know specific details.
Senterfitt’s bathroom has one dim light bulb hanging over the sink, and when she showers, the tub is pitch black, she said. Her closet has no lighting either. Senterfitt installed her own source of lighting for the bathroom to fix the issue.
To Senterfitt, the ceilings are incredibly low. She’s 5’7’’ and said she can touch the ceiling easily.
“It feels like a basement because it’s so dark in there and the ceilings are so low,” she said. “It’s definitely not what was advertised.”
Her windows, which face the apartment's courtyard on the first floor, have no blinds, she said. Because she lives alone, she fears someone could look into her apartment and watch her sleeping.
Cassidy said that staff will work to fix residents’ concerns and install blinds in the upcoming week.
Edward Zhang, a 19-year-old UF electrical engineering sophomore, said his biggest concern is the apartment’s WiFi. Because Zoom courses are a large part of his academic life, Zhang said he can’t complete homework or attend courses without using the internet.
Zhang, who’s also a teaching assistant for a Circuits 1 class, missed his office hours on Sept. 8 because of a WiFi outage at the complex. A student popped in, and he wasn’t able to help them, he said.
He said he’s seen about five baby cockroaches in his five-bedroom, five-bathroom apartment.
When he first moved into his apartment Sept. 6, he said the balcony door handle was missing and his washer was broken. Management fixed both the door and the washer the same day, he said.
His balcony door frame is missing about an inch of the frame, so it has a slight gap. There’s also a patch of paint missing underneath his bed. The doors in the apartment also don’t align, and his toilet slightly leaks, he said.
Zhang said he doesn’t overly criticize management and believes they’re doing the best they can. However, he’s concerned that they aren’t enforcing mask wearing.
While Liv+ requires masks in common areas like the gym and front office, he said about half of the people in the common areas don’t wear masks.
Sean Hershkowitz, another Liv+ resident, said he was signed out of an Introduction to Engineering quiz on Sept. 9 due to an internet outage at around 4:45 p.m.
Like Senterfitt, Hershkowitz, an 18-year-old UF electrical engineering freshman, has seen about five spiders since moving in. Unlike the five large and fuzzy spiders Senterfitt has seen at her apartment, his are smaller and come from a hole left by construction, he said.
The apartment floor and couch had paint splatters, he said, and the baseboards weren’t finished, so there are gaps between the wall and floor.
While Hershkowitz was on the phone with a reporter from The Alligator, the fire alarm at the complex randomly went off. He said it has happened twice in a week, and there has been no explanation from management.
Cassidy said she is not aware of any issues with the fire alarms or of any drills being conducted because she is not on site.
“Honestly, living here has been like a bit of a wild ride,” Hershkowitz said. “It’s like everyday you expect something crazy.”