The start of the fall semester at Virginia Tech means college football is finally back in session, college basketball is right around the corner, and housing season is getting started. Students at Virginia Tech begin to look for housing for next year as soon as late September every year. As current and recent students ourselves, we understand the difficulty of finding a house that fits all of your needs, but it’s also important to think beyond just finding the right VT off-campus housing option for rent. Finding the right landlord is just as important.
You don’t have to lease from an unresponsive landlord, though. Here are a few key factors to look for in your landlord before signing your lease:
- Response Time: How quickly do they respond to your calls and emails when you’re setting up a showing? Warning! If you’re having trouble getting in contact with them now, it’s probable that this is going to carry over when you’ve got water leaking from the ceiling after a harsh rainstorm.
- Online Reviews: If you research your potential future landlord and find nothing but bad reviews, do NOT sign a lease with them. If they received a one-star rating by the majority of their previous tenants, they received it for a reason.
- Tardiness: If your Virginia Tech off-campus housing landlord is late to show you the house, beware, this is a sign that they do not respect you or your time.
- Repairs: If you’re viewing a property in Blacksburg that requires maintenance before moving in, make sure to clarify the repair dates before moving in. If they are unsure or do not give you a specific date the repairs will be finished, this could be because they are not in active in maintaining the property.
- Leasing Contract: If your landlord has passed all of the above, the last step is to review your lease. If there are many errors in your contract, hesitate before signing a lease with them. Shoddy contracts show that they are not knowledgeable in the legal side of property management. Not only could that negatively impact them in the future, but you could also get tied up in unfavorable legal circumstances.
Each landlord interacts with tenants and responds to maintenance issues in their way. To help you have the best housing experience possible, here are a few landlords you might want to consider in the Blacksburg area.
Five Top Blacksburg Landlords for Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing
The Mill (Average Rating: 3.9)
As one of the best-rated properties in Blacksburg, The Mill features an excellent group of staff that responds promptly to tenant concerns. Addressing issues in a friendly and professional manner, the staff genuinely cares about their resident’s well-being. In addition to being one of the few properties to have a lenient pet policy, The Mill is also conveniently located close to the Virginia Tech campus and shopping sites and refers to itself as one of Blacksburg’s best kept secrets. Sorry, The Mill, your secret’s out.
Finding a review that mentioned the staff was an effortless task. Many tenants left reviews addressing the staff by name commenting on their quick response time and friendliness while addressing concerns.
Here are a few reviews from previous and current tenants:
“Diane, Roxie, Herb & Jeremy are excellent to work with at The Mill! They will take care of you with honesty and professionalism, and with great attitudes. The ownership of this property is very lucky to have such a good staff!”
“I have lived her for several years now. The apartments are older but well maintained. The staff is willing to work with you in any way that they can and maintenance is very quick to respond. The grounds are clean and it’s a nice quiet area. They allowed me to have both of my dogs and just require that we pick up the mess. They recently renovated the laundry facilities and they are very nice. The price is great especially for the service that they give. It’s close to lots of things and on the bus line. I have enjoyed living here.”
Stonegate & Carlton Scott (Average Rating: 4.0)
As one of the most preferred apartments in the Blacksburg area, the Stonegate & Carlton Scott Apartments have a staff that redefines the standard of maintenance in property management.
Tenant concerns are immediately addressed and taken care of in timely and professional manner. As a fair and accommodating maintenance team, these requests are quickly resolved to create a positive living experience further.
“This is my favorite apartment complex that I have ever lived in (out of about 7 so far). Now that I’m finished at VT, I kind of wish I could take this apartment with me. Big kitchen, bedrooms and balcony, I really like the layout. The kitchen is great, its nice to have some space to walk around, especially when there are two people in there. I love the single brick wall interior, I think it gives a good feel to the whole place. When we first moved in our carpet was old and in rough shape. We asked about getting it replaced and had it done the next week no problem or questions asked. The maintenance guys are very friendly, helpful, and timely. Staff couldn’t be better, April will treat you fairly. They don’t try to hide anything from you with sneaky fine print or vaguely worded leases. Noise from people or the road isn’t too bad either compared to other complexes in Blacksburg. I highly recommend Stonegate to anyone considering moving here. Don’t hesitate, I know I’m going to miss it.”
Pointe West Commons (Average Rating: 5.0)
The Point West Commons prides itself in maintaining its units and providing excellent customer service to its tenants. They have fewer reviews than some of the other landlords listed on our top five, but feedback indicates they are quick to address concerns, and the staff responds in a polite and professional manner. Tenants who put in work orders normally have their issue handled within 24 hours of being placed.
“These are very large 1 bedroom apartments that are in great condition. Relatively new building, which is unusual for Blacksburg. The living area and kitchen are open, which makes it feel huge, with the bedroom and bathroom separate. My full size bed fits with plenty of room in the bedroom. They’re kept up very well and anything that I’ve needed fixed has been taken care of within 24 hours. They even do routine pest control (at no cost to us). They’re in a great location, very close to campus academic buildings and University Mall. Also, only a 20 minute walk from downtown. There’s plenty of parking and no permits, which makes things easier. The laundry room is downstairs, which is the worst part, but at least its onsite, and the walls are a bit thin. The only utilities that I have to pay are electric and cable/internet. If you’re looking for a 1 bedroom, this is one of the best you’ll find at this price.”
Smith’s Landing (Average Rating: 3.2)
As a more business-oriented leasing company, Smith’s Landing addresses tenant concerns in a prompt and professional manner. Run like an solid company; they are looking for customer satisfaction. Their maintenance staff is quick to resolve issues and answer any questions a resident may have.
“Smith’s Landing Apartments are kept and maintained at a high quality and really appeal to the people who are looking for a nice, safe, and quiet community to live in. The office staff is always very cordial and willing to help out with a problem a resident may be having. The maintenance staff is always first class in everything they do.”
With high ratings in support service, Herthwood provides first-class service to its residents. They pride themselves on quick response time. Their staff of technicians are not only knowledgeable but very personable as well. As a hands-on maintenance team, the Herthwood staff is active in providing repairs and is always working towards creating the best living experience possible for all residents.
“Mike Harris was our service technician and he was wonderful! We are new to the complex and one of our neighbors told us he was the best, and she was right. He is very personable, professional and efficient and we are extremely happy with the service he provided us with, we couldn’t ask for a better technician!”
“My apartment had our carpets cleaned, and the service technicians, Debra Harvey and Brian Shaver, did a very good job. They were punctual and provided the service in a timely manner. In addition, they were polite and answered all the questions I had.”
Be smart. Save yourself a massive headache three months from now. Take some time and consider your options before you select your Virginia Tech off-campus housing for next year. These landlords are recommended owners in the Blacksburg area but compare all your apartment and housing around the Virginia Tech campus. Remember, you’re not just looking for the right apartment or house, you’re looking for the right landlord.