Metropolis Condo Management Service

Posted on Monday, July 24th, 2006 at 7:35am CDT by 53729db1

Company: Metropolis Condo Management Service

Category: Business, Finances

This complaint is about Metropolis, a company that performs property

management of condos in suburban Maryland. This company is based in

Hyattsville, MD and their address is

4307 Gallatin Street

Hyattsville, MD 20781

This company was hired by the Monterey Condominium Association president after she fired the previous company. I was a Unit Owner in that community. This company Metropolis first took a long time to take over from the previous company, it left all of the unit owner uncertain about payments, and we had to call. The phone call was ALWAYS answered by a phone answering service in Alabama DURING BUSINESS HOURS and they alway were quick to state that they only answered the phone for this company, nothing else. When messages were conveyed to Metropolis via this answering service, Metropolis had a policy of answering these phone call within 3 BUSINESS DAYS (!!!). But a lot of the time, phone calls were not even returned. When finally pressed about why do they have this answering company in Alabama they said there had been a bad storm that knocked their telephone lines. They kept saying this excuse for almost a year, until finally they had somebody from Maryland answer the phone.

As far as services to the community, the only thing they did was do the paperwork and barely answer the phones. This left the President of the Association (Monterey Condominiums), a very corrupt lady who was breaking the condo community rules by having 5 pets, two of them large roaming around the premises, to do whatever she pleased without no one to answer to. The community rules were that a maximum of 2 pets was allowed, and these would have to be small pets, no more than 20 lbs. The two dogs were more like 60 lbs and ran unleashed all the time. This person would use our common area as a holding pen for her animals. I basically could not use my patio in peace because of these animals. I complained to her, and to other neighbors who also had their large animals there, as this was getting out of control, but to no avail. This lady told me that if I did not like her animals I did not have to get out onto my patio. Period. I then wrote letters to Metropolis, but never got a reply. I got a second letter, and there was no reply. I did not get a reply. Period. I went to Montgomery County Animal Control and they issued a ticket to this lady, which she contested. When we got to trial, the state lawyer, a very bad one, could not win the case even though i had pictures and a witness. He let the lady lie and say these were not her animals. As Animal Control did not do their job right by correctly ID these animals when they could, the case was thrown out. Animal Control officers could not ID the dogs on the pictures. Talk about waste of tax payers money.

I then decided to leave the community as every attempt to try to live in peace was thwarted and there seemed to be nothing I could do. Little did I know that problems would continue as I was selling my unit. The Association also had gotten into a problem because the Board of Directors had not paid a contractor their dues and these were suing for their money. Metropolis was slow to issue the Resale Certificate and did not contain the needed information about this lawsuit. When pressed, they reissued the resale certificate but only added to see "Reference A", which they did not include. Another barrage of phone calls finally produce this "Reference A". Thank God I had a wonderful real estate agent and she was an inmense help in dealing with these people, as well as the settlement company. I finally was able to sell that property and get out of that nightmare.

However, the nightmare does not end there. Metropolis, ever so incompentent, still is trying to charge me its condo fees. I sold my unit on April 28th, and they are trying to charge me June fees. This is incredible. I sent a letter pointing out that I sold my place and to refer this payments to the new owner, but I still keep getting these bills. We even paid transfer fees to Metropolis, the settlement company gave them a check for May on behalf of the current owner, and still these people assume I am the owner. This is even so I had a case with the CCOC (Common Ownership Communities) against the Association (about the infringement of pet rules and their ignoring of my letters) which was thrown out as moot because the Association argued I was no longer a unit owner.

So this is my plight, after having lost in every instance of my complaints due to technicalities, and finally thinking about having some peace (away from that hell hole), I am still getting crazy bills from Metropolis.

I would comment you to never, ever do any business with Metropolis. This is a company that is totally unprofessional, holds grudges, will be unbelievably incompetent and will bill you for crazy things.

Antonio Sacin


28 Comments

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9735414f, 2008-04-17, 12:50PM CDT

i agree with everything stated. I just purchased and they never ,ever answer the phone.I have often asked if they work during regular business hours and I am always told that they are at lunch,on other calls, or just too busy. Terrible company. I hope they improve. I expect them not to.My concern about this problem is they do not care.

e5eac782, 2008-05-20, 01:40PM CDT

I also have had several unsatisfactory services and responses from this company, and its employees. I've been a resident of (Iverson Village Conomininums) for almost 5 years, and I have very little improvement in any of the services since I've been there.

The most troublesome problem I'm having is with the parking rules. They seem to change every six months and the (so called) President of the Management Board has a very poor disposition and attitude with serveral residents.

I have been recieving parking permits up until recently (May 14, 2008, when I was denied because my vehicle is not registered to my actual residence. I know of several residents who rent there units, and they are still able to receive a permit. Now all of a sudden I'm not eligible.

Although a letter sent out by the management states you only need proof of registration and the old permit. why was I denied my permit if my vehicle is registered in the state and the county. I have dual adresses and I choose to register my vehicle at my other address for economical reasons.

Whomever the persons that are in charge of this company needs to seriously look into there practices and customer service. I have left serveral messages for my cmplaint and have only recieved a courtesy phone call explaining the policy over the phone in a message. That's not acceptable!!!

Leroy Rhinehart

2ae2e2fa, 2008-06-19, 01:57PM CDT

I live in the townhouses and Westlake in Bowie. Metropolis is totally unavailable by phone. The only option is to leave a message with the switch board and that is only in case of an emergency. Even when messages are left, there is a 50% chance that you will not get a call back. My HOA President is rarely at the property and does not address these concerns. I am not sure why he does not fire Metropolis. They make lots of money but are unresponsive to the residents of our community.

22462447, 2008-06-27, 02:17PM CDT

They are set up with an answering service so they do not have to deal with you on a personal basis. It will never get better I worked there and it seems like it has gotten worse. They can not seem to keep communities and they baby the president of the associations and then when they get voted out they get fired, Marty is a smoozer. Good Luck!!!

264afe3f, 2008-08-01, 12:35PM CDT

I am a property manager in the state of Maryland who is not affiliated with Metropolis. I just need to point out that most of your complaints are with your respective Associations, and not with the management company. Not answering the phone is one thing, but your not liking a policy approved by your Board of Directors has nothing to do with management. The Board president having too many pets has nothing to do with management. In the case of the billing after you sold your unit, it happens frequently that the settlement company is slow in getting the settlement sheet to management, and they cannot change the name on the account until this legal documentation is received. All that said, if you are unhappy with your Board OR your management, step up and run for the Board, and effect change!

65c41a48, 2008-12-17, 06:16AM CST

As a 30-year resident of Fairfax Village Condominiums in DC, I am also appalled by the inaction of Metropolis. They send me the same Account Summary every year, showing no payment on my Garage assessment, and demanding canceled checks, front and back, as proof of payment. I have not written a check in 8 years. My payments are automatic and have been sent by my bank on time. I would love to see their offices -- no e-mail, no website. I fully expect to find quill pens and paper ledgers.

We are nearly a decade into the 21st century, and these guys are still doing business with 19th century technology. They certainly don't know how to answer the phone.

9230d09f, 2009-02-05, 12:10PM CST

i am new (2years) to treetop and I am having the same type of issues with this lady. Do you know who is in charge of her. Who own the condos?????? I am in the process of a peace order, she is unwilling and her disposition is very bad????????????????????? Please help if you can I am willing to stand up for my rights

Rogers

d679eb90, 2010-06-23, 09:45AM CDT

Looks like you just got bad luck with your Board. What most people in condos and HOA's don't understand (and this is encouraged by certain dysfunctional Boards) is that the management company works for the Board, not the other way around, so a lot of the time, the management company gets blamed, and not the Board member, who may indeed have a grudge, and use the management company as a tool.

Even if your management agent is stellar, there's little they can do to make the Board come correct: Board members are volunteers, after all... volunteers with the power to end the management agent's contract.

When you sold your unit, did you send your paperwork to the management company? Did the paperwork identify the new owner? It seems strange that the management company would try to charge you fees: are you certain it wasn't the condo's lawyer trying to collect an old debt, perhaps associated with a repair? Lots of times when units are sold, real estate agents get sloppy with the paperwork, and the condo's records suffer.

A telling quote: "after having lost in every instance of my complaints due to technicalities".

I think that while your frustration is genuine, and your arguments may be valid, what you lack is an understanding of the business process. If you don't understand the game, you're going to lose. Condos and HOA's have lots of rules about how things get done. In the end, management agents work for the Board, and if the Board is out to get you, who the management agent is should be the least of your worries.

7039428b, 2010-11-29, 05:43PM CST

I live in Villages of Potomac at Indian Head, MD (Charles County).I agree with everyone's comments about this company. They don't have a clue on what they are doing, they waste and steal condominium fees and always issue threats to residents about unpaid condo fees. They are so useless and frankly I don't understand why they are still in business since they can't tell the difference between debit from credit. Just a bunch of stupid retarded people along with the so called Board of Directors.

21df86c8, 2010-12-19, 09:27AM CST

I lived at this property during this time and these statements made here at not true. The management agent cannot make decisions if the Board of Directors do not listen to their recommendations. And the management agent was paid $650.00 for part time management, not full time. The conflict was between the X president and her large dogs - and when this went to court - Sacin moved out. Thats AFTER the Association paid over $9.000 in legal fees. So Sacin wasted our money - the President moved out and so did Sacin.. What a waste of money and time....

1b93eb1f, 2010-12-30, 11:20PM CST

I like living at the Villages of Potomac and Metropolis has been the management agent for several years. I met Ben at a Board meeting and he has been wonderful. We bought the house at foreclosure, and there were some developer issues that had not been reported. Ben worked with the Board and my husband and we got our repairs included. Stephen Daniels the Coordinator for the company was always helpful and Ive never had a problem reaching anyone. Ive referred this company to my daughters community and they are happy with my suggestion.

b1c551bc, 2011-03-03, 04:51PM CST

I would recommend to anyone not to live in the area where this company is serving as management company/HOA. They are retarded. Actually if anyone is thinking of moving to the Villages of Potomac at Indian Head - do not move there. The HOA is under this stupid company and the so called the Board of Directors who live in the same community are thieves! They steal residents HOA fees, they do not do anything to the community and the condos fees are so high - $200 a month with no pool, playground, no trash collection and no snow removal. This HOA and this company are just nightmare to the society

ff8a51c5, 2012-07-12, 01:41AM CDT

I also agree that this company is dangerous. We hired them about 7 months ago and STILL have not seen any of our financial documents. They don't answer the phone, return calls and condo payments don't get processed. Out of the 7 months they worked for us they did not show up or cancel at 2 or our meetings. They sent our lawyers a $14,000 check and we did not owe them anything..just sent it..We cancelled our contract after 6 months with them before we went broke. Their response...we are losing the chance to build a relationship with them. STAY AWAY!!!!

Terry S., 2012-11-27, 03:44PM CST

I live at the Villages of Potomac. Its a wonderful place and I love it there. I have been there for 5 years and have worked with both the Board and Metropolis with Developer issues. In fact, both the Board and Metropolis helped us hire an engineer, report all the problems and sue the Developer. We won thanks to the documentation provided by Metropolis.

T R., 2012-11-28, 07:15PM CST

As a Board Member of another community I have to ask the person saying that a management agent signed a $14,000 check shows that the Board is not managing the community. We have policies to ensure things like that done happen. Unplanned checks always have a contract signed prior to release. Never would we allow a check to be paid in that amount. In Florida there are state requirements. Doesnt look there are in your neck of the woods.

It sounds like the Board isn't responsible. Sure Metropolis may not be a good fit for them but dangerous? A bit extreme. I suggest your next management agent be given guidelines, its the Board that should be running the community and telling the management agent what to do. In this case it sounds like the Board wasnt overseeing the community correctly.

Bottom line? Learn from your mistakes and create the protocols for your new management agent. Some day there will be state requirements and things like this are less apt to happen

Brenda J., 2012-12-09, 01:02PM CST

I agree. Board members do need to be in control of their community. It seems like the management agent is always blamed when the real issue is a lack of checks and balances. Reading some of these so call reviews makes me wonder about the level of intelligence of some of these people. I am a Board president. I started when I retired and have been actively involved in my community. There is no perfect management agent. But, if you find one that wants to work with you and acknowledges their mistakes..they are worth keeping. Constantly changing management agents costs your community time AND money. Lawyers reviewing contracts, homeowners learning about the new management agent..all of those things take time and money. I wish Boards would own up and accept responsibility instead of blaming management. Do you due diligence in the beginning.

Robert T., 2013-03-26, 06:38AM CDT

We just hired Metropolis 6 months ago and all I can say is I have no idea what the problem is. They have a new phone system which includes something call Fastrac. Its not an answering service. Ive been to office and met Nina, Monica and others who are responsible for calls. All I can say is go see for yourself. I read all of these complaints and decided to go to the office and see what its like. Before you jump to conclusions check them out. Things are going well. Maybe you had the wrong property manager? I agree wit Brenda..." Do your due diligence in the beginning..

bf9603c7, 2013-08-22, 09:08PM CDT

is this the same place I called yesterday? i had water pouring into my kitchen from the ceiling and i called the office and they had a guy fix it that day. i talked to 3 people at the office and they were all nice even though i kept calling and calling, lol. i never called metropolis before this so i don't know about the other things, but i never had any complaints.

0e9e5499, 2014-02-20, 06:46PM CST

To the cronies who are blindly defending this company ...

http://www.bbb.org/washington-dc-eastern-pa/business-reviews/property-management/metropolis-management-company-in-hyattsville-md-2130759/

BBB Business Review

overview

complaints

directions

This Business is not BBB accredited

Metropolis Management Company

Phone: (301) 779-1800 4307 Gallatin St, Hyattsville, MD 20781

BBB? F Rating

On a scale of A+ to F Reason for Rating BBB Ratings System Overview

a4489c9b, 2014-08-11, 01:37PM CDT

So here is some information about the BBB Business from Time Magazine. It makes sense to me.

" Whether or not a business is accredited, it can be graded by the BBB. The grading system, ranging from A+ to F, is confusing at best, useless at worst. Business grades are determined by 16 factors, including how many complaints have been filed with the BBB against the business, and if and how the business responded. Notably, however, a business?s grade won?t necessarily be hurt if nothing much comes of a complaint and the customer is left unsatisfied. Rather, all that matters, grading-wise, is that the business responded and made a ?good faith effort to resolve complaints,? according to the BBB. This means that a business could have a good grade even if it is the subject of lots of complaints, as long as the business dutifully responds ? even in a pro forma way.

On the flip side, a business that is committed to handling complaints directly with customers in a substantive way, but does so outside the purview of the BBB, will get a poor grade because the BBB is not involved. So a company can have a B or C rating, or even an F, simply because it doesn?t play by the BBB?s rules, which include looping in the organization with complaint responses and providing the BBB with background information about the company.

The complaints system is also flawed because consumers usually can?t read the specifics of gripes from previous customers. It?s therefore impossible to get a sense of whether a complaint is legitimate, or if it?s coming from a crank who would probably never be satisfied. This reality is frustrating for businesses and consumers alike.

Sometimes, the grades make perfect sense. For example, a Detroit Free Press article recently highlighted a sketchy company that sells a product called WaxVac, which is advertised on TV, and which customers have complained about because of upsells on phone orders and excessive shipping fees ($38, all nonrefundable). The company has what seems like an appropriate D rating from the BBB. On another note, if you do not subscribe to BBB you receive an F rating.

So here is the full page. YOu can see that there is one complaint and even that remains questionable..

HIS BUSINESS IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

Metropolis Management Company

Phone: (301) 779-1800

4307 Gallatin St, Hyattsville, MD 20781

BBB? F Rating

On a scale of A+ to F

Reason for Rating

BBB Ratings System Overview

SharePrint

BBB Business Reviews may not be reproduced for sales or promotional purposes.

BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered the rating for Metropolis Management Company include:

Failure to respond to 1 complaint filed against business

BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business

While I applaud the ability to post complaints online - I do wish there was a way to authenticate them prior to posting. Sometimes, after reading the complaints I have to wonder about the credibility of the person posting the complaint....

0e9e5499, 2014-08-11, 02:12PM CDT

BBB or no BBB, I finally got my answer from the Home Owners Association. They wrote to me that Metropolis Management Company has long since fired by the HomeOwners Association and that I can ignore any demands made by Metropolis Management Company ...

Metropolis is still sending me bills quarterly for a townhome that we sold back in 2013 --- even after they were notified about the current owner.

cdc5e912, 2014-08-13, 05:41PM CDT

I find it odd that Metropolis would be sending you quarterly statements during a time that they are no longer managing a property. When a community transitions to another management company, they forward the names, addresses and applicable information so the new management agent can sent out coupons and begin the management of the community. Also, until such time as a settlement sheet has been forwarded, a lot of management companies have a policy that they cannot update their records with that form of assurance.

And finally, regardless of service performance most management contracts are not renewed, unless there was a cause for termination. I really sometimes wish that homeowners such as yourself are better advised so that you have a better understanding of the process. The sad aspect of transitioning to a new management agent is that it takes several months for a new management agent to fully understand the community. History and relationships are severed and for a time, the community membership and the Board are at a disadvantage. In this case, it appears that the management agent was no longer a good fit. Some reasons? failure to perform, change in the Board and wanting a new management agent, the reasons are many...

0e9e5499, 2014-08-13, 09:13PM CDT

Wow cdc5e912 ...

You find it odd that Metropolis is capable of making mistakes? Or perhaps they must have joined the class of IBM, Micro$oft, IRS, and the like ...

"we may not be right, be we are never wrong!"

At this Time, well over a Year after our home sold, I don't even open the envelope .. surprisingly, however, the amount is being accrued ... at this rate in a few Years Time, I would "owe" Metropolis several hundreds of Dollars. in the 5 statements I have now, every quarter they are also adding a late fee too ... which incidentally, is being compounded.

And I suppose the homeowners association requires the Metropolis staff to be rude and uncouth, and not even speak English with a semblance of correct grammar ... so how can anyone fault them?

Keep up your good work. You are doing a wonderful job of defending Metropolis.

Jennifer W., 2014-08-25, 08:08AM CDT

I've read so many complaints about management companies and am always amazed at how betrayal, and emotion play into a business relationship. After reading these posts and others about other management companies, Id like to offer some professional recommendations so that relationships don't become so caustic that the relationship cannot be salvaged. Everyone loses when a management company changes hands for a time. It takes time to learn about a community, the physical plant issues and locations and even the Board of Directors and community membership. As a lawyer I know. We make a lot of money when Board of Directors try to break contracts without following the outlines in the management agreement.

At the first sign of trouble or frustration, schedule a meeting with the management company. ( the same goes with management companies) No one wants to lose business. If you let them know the issue and they don't try to correct it, place them on formal notice so they understand that you, the Board of Directors ( or the management agent) are serious. A little bit of proactive preparation might remind you why you hired them in the first place.

John S., 2014-08-29, 02:09PM CDT

I just called Metropolis and registered for Metmail. I was able to talk to Andrea who walked me thru the entire process. I attached my letter for the Board to review and even some photos from my smartphone to show them what I meant. I got a confirmation number and a new RFA number online. Register for Metmail.

Randy R., 2014-09-09, 09:14AM CDT

I agree. I registered with Metmail and really like it. Its like having an online chat. I'm getting fast responses and whoever is doing Metmail keeps its simple. I'm not getting long emails and threads. Simple responses. Register for Metmail.

Cathy J., 2014-09-17, 10:34AM CDT

My mom was recently moved to a home and her account and her condo was a mess. She hadnt paid her condo fees, and there were violations attached to her home. I called Metropolis and spoke with Stacey and explained my problems. She scheduled a meeting with the Vice President of the company and we reviewed her account. They were all so nice and she even conferenced me in with the President of the condo so we can waive fees and prepare the house for sale. During this stressful time it was great to be able to talk to someone and resolve these issues so quickly.

Jackie C., 2014-10-11, 09:35AM CDT

We started with Metropolis 6 months ago and I have found them to be good. In the cases where homeowners said that calls were not being answered, Metropolis provided the dates and times of the calls and the RFA number. Turns out the calls were answered. Homeowners didn't like the answer that they got. But Metropolis was accurate in their reporting and representation of the company. The thing I like the best is that I was able to get the answer that I needed. As a Board member I have to have trust in the company we selected. Metropolis works with us and it makes us better. At least with Metropolis if a homeowner says calls aren't being answered Metropolis has the systems in place to prove or deny the allegation with dates, times and documented conversations.

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