A CLOSER LOOK: Fayetteville’s Varsity House tenants cite safety/health concerns

A Closer Look

At least 1 resident was without water for nearly a week

Varsity House concerns, Fayetteville, AR, 2/18/2021. Photo by Noelle Wright.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A University of Arkansas (UA) student said the management of a Fayetteville apartment complex was unacceptable, especially during the winter storms.

UA Sophomore Noelle Wright lives at Varsity House, and conditions at her apartment were nearly impossible. She said the parking lot wasn’t even plowed while snow accumulated during the winter storms — between February 10 – 20.

“I went door-to-door to talk to individuals who were suffering during the weather because most of us went over a week without water,” said Wright, who was personally without water for six days.

She described the apartment complex as poorly lit, with minimal security cameras, and the area as not safe. “[Yet], I was told by management to walk downstairs to the office to use the restroom.”

Wright said the complex is in a part of Fayetteville where squatters are known to hang out, especially in the parking lot. “I have been followed home by strangers while walking my dog,” she said.

Wright’s goal is to bring awareness that Varsity House management turned their back on university students in a time of need. “Not to mention the fact that we are living in times of a global pandemic and our safety was never their priority, in my opinion,” said Wright.

They expect us to pay full rent this month,” said Wright.

She believes this is an example of a company that loves to exploit college kids for their money. “I understand we live in a state where the tenant-landlord laws can be difficult to work on the side of the tenant. However, this is unacceptable.”

Houston-based Asset Living (formerly Asset Campus Housing), founded in 1986, is the property manager of Varsity House.

The agency oversees more than 100,000 units across the country, making it one of the largest property management providers in the U.S., according to the company’s website. The company grew more than 60 percent in 2020 and now manages a portfolio of over $15 billion in real estate, according to a February 23, 2021, statement.

Several phone messages were left with Asset Living at the Houston office, but as of Wednesday, February 24, calls were not returned to KNWA/FOX24.

Note: This story will be updated should the property manager respond. Three messages were left for Kelsey Gomez and one for CEO Ryan McGrath.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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