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The Quad on Delaware: mold, flooding and more

For the past two years, tenants of the Quad have reported numerous problems with the apartment building.
Image by Jack O’Connor
The Quad on Delaware on Oct 23, 2023.

Kareem Kamel, a third-year University of Minnesota student, lived in The Quad on Delaware in April when flooding in the apartment building forced him to live in a hotel room for five days. After a week, management gave him his new room, which had mold.

Six months later, many Quad tenants are still reporting issues with mold like Kamel’s.

Grace Korpi, a fourth-year student at the University, said in less than three months at the Quad, she has already seen mold and water leaks in her apartment.

“It’s just one extra thing that I didn’t want to deal with this school year, especially with it being my senior year,” Korpi said.

Exposure to the mold gave her roommates watery eyes and a cough, according to Korpi. Instead of breathing in the mold, Korpi said she opted to commute to school from her parents’ nearby house.

Tenants have also had problems with water leaks, mice, water shutoffs, lackluster snow plowing and an uncommunicative management team in the past year, according to Kamel.

When third-year University student Mario Valento and his sister’s apartment also flooded in April, they were forced to rely on management to inform them of their new living arrangements.

“They couldn’t have controlled the flood happening, but it did just feel like there was more they could have done that would’ve helped us during the process,” Valento said. “It really did kind of just feel like my sister and I were like fending for ourselves once they put us in the hotel.

Residents became so frustrated with the poor conditions that an Instagram account, the.fraud.on.delaware, was created to document the different issues tenants were having.

Kamel’s roommate, James Lin, was forced to go back to his old apartment in the middle of the night because his stuff was going to be thrown away to clean and repair the apartment. Kamel said the only reason Lin knew was because Kamel told him, who only found out after repeatedly contacting management.

In a statement to the Minnesota Daily, management said they quickly solved any issues tenants had and gifted compensation when needed.

“The management of Quad on Delaware has moved quickly to remedy a number of unrelated issues that affected our residents earlier this year,” Quad management said in the statement. “Our commitment is to provide a great living experience for Quad on Delaware residents, and we regret any inconvenience while we work to address these issues.”

Flooding, water leaks and mold

After the apartment gym flooded, management promised it would be fixed in roughly a week with new machines, according to Lin. It ended up taking around five months, causing Lin, who was originally relying on the Quad’s gym, to buy a pass to the University’s Recreation and Wellness Center (RecWell) for access to a gym.

Like Korpi, Valento said he would spend more time at his friends’ apartments rather than deal with the issues at his apartment.

“I would end up spending so little time there. I’d probably get woken up to a fire alarm and then when I go to make breakfast, I’d have to chase a cockroach out of the kitchen. When I go throw the trash away, the chute would be clogged,” Valento said. “It was just that steady succession of minor issues.”

With everything that she has seen at the Quad, Korpi said she unsuccessfully tried to get out of her lease last week. 

“I don’t want to spend the rest of my senior year being miserable and terrible living conditions and with mold in my unit,” Korpi said.

Mold inside the Quad on Delaware.

Poor communication from management

Kamel said following the flood, he wished management had been more clear about what was next.

“Emails about this stuff would have been very helpful, but there were just sporadic phone calls,” Kamel said. “It was a big headache during the end of the academic year.”

Valento said the problem was the Quad always had an issue that was impossible to ignore.

“A good apartment should almost be like invisible,” Valento said. “With the Quad, it was like I was a parent trying to get their child to cooperate.”

During the first two months living at the Quad, Valento said he paid rent with physical checks he would put into a mailbox. Management sent an email to Valento that said they never received his checks. 

After going back and forth with management, they admitted someone had stolen the checks out of the box, Valento said.

Kamel said after all the issues he had with the Quad, there was no chance he would renew his lease.

“It was definitely frustrating,” Kamel said. “All these issues put together put me off from ever living there again.”

Lackluster snow plowing

As snow fell last winter, the stairs, ramp and sidewalk in front of the Quad were either poorly plowed or not plowed at all, according to Valento.

Neha Aramkuni has lived at the Quad since 2022 and said they saw several people fall throughout the winter, including blind tenants.

“The stairs were almost never plowed, so you could literally slip,” Aramkuni said. “It was kind of messed up, especially considering that we have a lot of visually impaired tenants here.”

During the winter, portions of the ramp and stairs would regularly be covered in ice causing people to constantly slip, Aramkuni said. The sidewalk and other parts of the ramp and stairs would pile up with snow, and there were shoe imprints in parts of the snow from people who would rather step in 12-inch-high snow than risk walking on the ice.

Valento said he became so frustrated with the ice and snow that he started to leave messages on the Quad’s Instagram account begging them to plow the snow.

“I shouldn’t have to ask about it when every other street in front of every other apartment and every other building in the city is already being treated,” Valento said.

Lauren Lee, who has lived at the Quad for more than a year, said the difference between the Quad and other apartments was so apparent you could see where the Quad’s property lines ended.

“Last winter was like absolute nightmare conditions, you could see the exact property line between the Quad and Solhaus because Solhaus would actually clear their snow,” Lee said.

Tenants see few positives with the Quad

Lin said that compared to last year, this year is an upgrade due to a new building manager and improved communication. 

While the Quad has disappointed tenants, a consistent positive for some tenants has been the front desk staff. 

“I’ve only really interacted with the staff that work under the management,” junior University student Molly Bennett said. “They’ve all been really helpful and nice.” 

While tenants have struggled with the different problems that pop up, the front desk staff remained helpful and understanding, according to Bennett and Lin.

Aside from the front desk, tenants said the Quad does not have enough benefits to outweigh all of its issues.

“I’m taking 16 credits this semester and I have two jobs, so trying to deal with all of that just in the first place is a lot,” Korpi said. “Adding all this housing stress onto it, I feel like I’m just about to reach breaking point.”

Correction: The original version of this article misstated Grace’s last name. It is Korpi.

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  • Flynn
    Oct 24, 2023 at 11:11 am

    When I lived at the quad last year (2022-2023), my roommate bought a mold testing kit that resulted positive for BLACK MOLD. When we told the management, they said they would send maintenance to remove the “dust”

  • xcelinas turner
    Oct 24, 2023 at 10:58 am

    I’m wondering if any legal action will be taken? I took lived there and had to leave due to the same issues and for health reasons. I want my money back from the deposit and the several months of rent I paid whole experiencing health issues. They had the nerve to say I owed them 3000 for rent when I gave them days notice and told them why I was leaving.

  • Olivia
    Oct 24, 2023 at 10:35 am

    I lived at Solhaus from 2022-2023 & over the winter when I had to walk my dog I would have to go out of my way to avoid the quad’s sidewalks. They were in such horrible and unwalkable conditions that neither me or my dog could safely walk there without falling. I ended up reporting their sidewalk to the city via the 311 app because there’s a city law that they must clear the sidewalk within 24 hours of the snowfall stopping – I waited 5 days and reported it because I assumed they’d clear it but they Never did (until after my report & the city got word and gave them a warning/fine). Also while living at Solhaus – even I was woken up in the middle of the night (almost every night) to the sirens and lights of firetrucks and police cars, etc. that were constantly at the Quad. The sidewalks in winter though…. God awful. I’ve lived in the Midwest for years and I’ve never slipped and fell as easily or as much as I did walking on those sidewalks. It was a MAJOR hazard.