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TXST off-campus apartment complex working to address 'unlivable' move-in conditions

Photo from Copper Beech Townhomes. (Courtesy: Thomas Reagan)
Photo from Copper Beech Townhomes. (Courtesy: Thomas Reagan)
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Texas State University students living in a San Marcos student housing complex are pushing back against what they are calling 'filthy, unlivable' conditions. This happened at the Copper Beech Townhomes, which is an off-campus apartment complex.

Residents moved in on Saturday but several units weren't ready to go. CBS Austin has heard from several frustrated residents and parents about the filthy conditions when they moved in. Students and parents said they spent the weekend fixing a mistake that should have never been made.

“When we got to the apartment. Oh man, it was a disaster," said a parent of a Copper Beech resident.

Several Texas State University students are living a 'nightmare' after carpets were not cleaned, mold was found growing in the bathrooms, and trash was left behind by previous residents.

“I checked downstairs because I was the first here and it was so gross," said Copper Beach resident, Chelsia Allen.

Allen and her roommates walked into a blast of heat to find the A/C not working on move-in day.

“We called and they never answered or never got back to us so we had to buy portable A/C units,” she said.

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Allen went out and spent $400 to buy a brand new portable A/C unit. She eventually heard back and the A/C was fixed after 24 hours in the heat, but problems still remain for other residents. One parent CBS Austin spoke with, who wants to remain anonymous, said his son signed a lease five months ago and showed up with stained carpet and furniture. The family spent the weekend cleaning the apartment and pleading with property management to do something.

“We went over there to talk to the manager and she says they don’t have enough people power to do the maintenance for everybody, but they take your money and they never say anything," the parent said.

The problems aren't just inside the apartments. The pool is also not in good condition. Pictures sent to CBS Austin show the pool is a green color.

CBS Austin sent a list of questions to The Scion Group which operates the property.


  1. What is the apartment complex doing to address the unsanitary living conditions?
  2. Should the apartments have been walked before the tenants were given their keys?
  3. We're told this could be a staffing issue at the complex, are there not enough hands on deck to turn apartments?
  4. When did the previous residents move out and how long did management/maintenance have to return the apartments to a living condition?
  5. Will residents be given an opportunity to leave if they want to or will there be any reimbursements of any sort for the inconvenience?
  6. Are residents able to transfer to another unit if they are not happy with the condition of the current one?
  7. Will damaged furniture be replaced by the property?

The Scion Group did not answer why the apartments weren't ready or any of the other questions CBS Austin asked. A Regional Manager with The Scion Group for the Copper Beech Townhomes said, "Please note that we are communicating directly with each of our residents and handling all customer-service matters as quickly as possible."

Residents are looking to hold the apartment complex accountable and ask that it is more on top of things in the future.

“I think the other residents' move-out date was like the beginning of summer or middle of summer so they should’ve had everything done before move-in,” Allen said.

“This is so frustrating because you’re losing your time, you’re wasting money," the anonymous parent said.

One parent emailed CBS Austin to ask why Texas State University advertised student housing properties on its website that have a history of complaints. Texas State University's Housing and Residential Life office said the Off-Campus living unit contracts the apartment marketplace with a third-party vendor to provide a resource for students who are searching for apartments in the San Marcos area.

A disclaimer on the website says the properties are not approved housing or endorsed by Texas State. It also says that the university does not inspect or offer any guarantee for the condition or quality of the rental units listed.

"We serve primarily as a liaison between Texas State University and apartment communities through regular meetings and encouragement of fair and reputable business practices. Our agreement with the third-party vendor allows for the removal of a complex based on complaints and issues that are reported to us in writing," said Bill Mattera, executive director of Housing and Residential Life. "We encourage all students to report concerns with local complexes to the Off Campus Living unit and to utilize the Attorney for Students as a resource in resolving their complaints with properties unaffiliated with Texas State University.”

Another parent told CBS Austin he’s considering a class action lawsuit against the property. His son moved into the apartment complex a few months ago and had numerous problems that took weeks to get fixed. Another resident that just moved in on Saturday told CBS Austin she and her roommates were placed in a unit where a cat once lived. The smell of cat urine was left behind on the mattresses. The residents say they indicated in their application that they would need a unit with no animals because of an allergy one of the roommates has. Several Copper Beech residents have echoed this same concern to CBS Austin.

Copper Beech residents have been searching for another apartment to move to, but say, the other apartments in San Marcos are either at full capacity or out of their budget range. This is leaving some residents contemplating whether or not to fix the problems in the apartment themselves while they wait for management to replace the damaged property.

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There is some positive news, some residents say they are starting to see work get done to address the issues. CBS Austin spoke with the Hailey family on Sunday. They say the property sent over a crew on Monday to replace the carpet in the unit.

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