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Parent calls apartments 'bait-and-switch' as students arrive to 'filthy' conditions

Some moving to off-campus Rowan Apartments in Columbia say their kids will have to stay elsewhere after finding "filthy" living conditions.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — It was a tale of two experiences on Sunday as the University of South Carolina held its official move-in day on campus.

At the university, there was excitement from families moving students into the dorms.

"This is our second one here," Lakeyah Jones, a parent, said. "So, this time has been a breeze because our first one is here, so she helped her."

"I'm ready for it, you know?," Ajanay Polite, Jones' daughter, said. "It's a new chapter, so I'm just ready to experience new things on my own."

But, miles away, outside the student-marketed Rowan Apartments on Southern Drive, between Shop and Bluff roads, there was frustration from some families who say they arrived to "filth."

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"We drove down from Connecticut. My daughter is a sophomore in pharmaceutical sciences," Nancy Antell said. "We did the beautiful tour in the Spring of the Rowan Apartments and it was a bait-and-switch. The apartment was filthy, number one."

Images from families show old food and food waste spilled inside what they say was a fridge at one the apartments. They also showed dirty bathtubs and at least one dirty oven and stovetop with presumably food burned into one of the drip pans.

Credit: Provided
Kitchen at the Rowan Apartments, according to families.

A toilet was left unclean with human waste still on it and drug paraphernalia was found on one of the floors.

"There's a hole in the ceiling," Antell said. "There's a hole on the deck that looks like it was burnt."

Other families shared similar feelings.

"Mildew, mold on the floor in the corner," Ashley Bell, a parent, said.

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"The rugs are dirty. It's filth all over the floor. We went out into the balcony, it was filthy towels," Teresa Young-Evans, who's nephew was moving in, said. "The rail is coming loose... and all this stuff, like they've never cleaned up."

Credit: Provided
Tub at the Rowan Apartments

Now, they say they're on a waiting list for cleaning.

"They won't even tell us, like, how many people are there before me in line to get their stuff fixed," Vidit Tandon said. "The walls have not been painted. The carpet has not been changed. Nothing's been done and they say that it'll be done by tonight. I don't have a place to stay tonight. I don't know nobody over here."

"When you think about dropping your child off to school, that's a magical experience you go through," Bell said, "but today was not anything like we expected."

News19 reached out to The Rowan Apartments for comment, but had not heard back as of Sunday evening.

Classes for USC students begin on Thursday.

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