In 2017, former Cal Poly student Cameron Geehr filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the tenants of The SLO Student Living against Home Sweet Home, Inc., the former owners of the apartment complex located on Foothill Boulevard and Santa Rosa Street.
The case was settled in December 2018, allowing a reimbursement of up to $700,000 for the tenants who leased apartments in The SLO between Aug. 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018. Each resident received notice of the court decision along with the option to accept, exclude themselves from or object the settlement.
Mechanical engineering junior and tenant during the 2017-2018 school year Ben Thompson said that his experience living at The SLO was not pleasant.
“It wasn’t as expected — the apartment itself,” Thompson said. “They showed us this really nice model apartment and then when we got there, there was a lot of chipped paint or random nails in the wall or just a lot of signs of [the building of the unit] being rushed.”
Thompson said he and his roommates plan on accepting the settlement and no longer live at The SLO.
Joe Ferrentino, the lawyer who represented Geehr in the lawsuit, said the court decision does not apply to the occupants of The SLO during the 2018-2019 school year.
“I will tell you that as far as the code violations that were the subject of the lawsuit, most of those have been repaired,” Ferrentino said. “The City of San Luis Obispo would not allow the students to move in in 2018-2019 unless the owner got the correct permits.”
The SLO Tribune recently released a video courtesy of Cameron Troost, a current college student residing in the apartment complex for the 2018-2019 school year, revealing unsafe living conditions in his own unit. The video features shots of black and brown water filling the sink, loose wires and power outlets, unannounced construction and a broken fire alarm sounding in the middle of the night — Thompson also recalled the latter event, saying that security responded by asking if the fix could “wait until the morning.”
Despite the complaints, the effects of the lawsuit are invalid in relation to any issues that current tenants may face, Ferrentino said.
“Any claims by [students in the 2018-2019 school year] would not affect the settlement,” Ferrentino said. “They should make those complaints to the owner.”