Thursday, September 24, 2009

MNM Partners, LLC

I'm still in awe about how poorly some management companies could be run.  A great example is the management company that currently manages the apartment building I live in.  I did some research and found out the building was managed by MNM Partners, LLC, claiming to be the first TIC Sponsor Investment company out here in Northern California.  Based on the prospectus I found, it looks like they have been looking for investors since 2006.  From their website, it looks like they manage two properties: 301-321 Oxford Way (Oxford Manor) and 1100 Village Drive, Belmont CA.

My favorate quote from their prospectus is, "MNM will manage the building massaging rents to maximize cash flow".  They definitely were trying to maximize cash flow. MNM Partners seems to be operating under the business model of cut as much cost as possible to make it appear you are making money in the short term -- even though there may be long term repercussions. 

We initially moved in because this was the only complex without breed restrictions during the short period we had to find living arrangements. The apartment was not cleaned when we moved in and many parts were broken, even though we were promised everything will be refurbished prior to the move-in date. The counter was scratched up and we have a significant hole/dry rot on our balcony. We have a fridge in our unit that leaks water from the freezer unit.  Never mind that, if you inspect the outside of the complex, you will find that the weeds are overgrowing at 301 Oxford Way (Oxford Manor), and the wood shingles on the side of the building are either in the process of falling off or missing altogether.  The carpets in the hallways are stained with pet urine, the parking lot area scattered with dog feces.  It is VERY apparent that many of the tenants have no respect for the property or much of anything else.

Although they claim not have a high vacancy (but currently it looks like they do based on just a scan of our neighbors units and how many of them are empty), they definitely have an extremely high turnover rate.  People don't stay in the complex very long, many that leave have the same feeling I do -- they got suckered. 

Although some of the neighbors are hard working individuals and overall nice people. Many are rude, disrespectful, and have parties frequently during the weekdays, weekday evenings, and weekends until 3 or 4 am.  The noise levels are unacceptable.  For example, many times the whole floor shakes and vibrates and I can hear the lyrics of my downstairs neighbor's music VERY clearly from our apartment upstairs, even in the bedroom and bathroom.

Many also clearly disrespect the Belmont law that prohibits smoking in shared living units such as apartments, townhouses, and condos. They smoke heavily in both their unit as well as in and around the complex, including patios. Cigarette butts are scattered everywhere around the complex.  The management wasn't even aware of this law (which was passed over a year before I arrived) until I notified them, then they finally put up signs but do nothing to enforce the law.  This is likely because based on my experience, over half of the residents smoke.

Most of the individuals who do live in this complex are pretty much uneducated, ignorant, "redneck", 2nd class citizens.  Many are unemployed and deadbeats, and frankly I believe they live here because no other complex will accept them because of either their income or credit score.  From conversations I overhear, it also seems like the new manager of this complex is having trouble collecting rent from a lot of their tenants.  Something is wrong when a tenant can have two 60" flat screen TV, a sports car, obviously a nice and very loud stereo system, but can't afford to pay rent.  Police cars also frequent the complex, which is never a good sign.

To summarize, as a tenant living in the complex, I would highly recommend not investing in this complex, nor do I have high hopes for their other investment property on Village Drive. MNM Partners are essentially slum lords, trying to make a quick buck on a degrading apartment complex while trying to solicit outside investors so they can exit before the "deck of cards" collapse.

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