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Trash mess angers renter who pays mandatory removal fee

trash AP
Posted at 4:00 AM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-22 09:57:38-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — When you force renters to pay extra monthly fees, they should expect those services to be carried out or they should get an explanation as to why not.

One Valley renter held her landlord accountable over a smelly problem.

"See, animals have gotten into this," Raelene says as she shows me an overflowing garbage bin.

It's a trash mess she says had gone on for too long.

Raelene lives at the Cibola Apartments in Scottsdale.

She says garbage hasn't been picked up for more than three weeks.

"They said there's a change in management companies," Raelene says she heard when she asked management.

Raelene showed me two bins that were overflowing with garbage, brush, and even a mattress spilling out into the parking lot.

Her apartment has a view of one bin.

The sight and smell are bad enough but Raelene and other renters at Cibola Apartments also have to pay an extra $17 fee monthly for trash removal.

"I shouldn't pay fees for something that's not happening," Raelene says.

She also has to pay a mandatory $25 fee for trash valet service. That's where someone picks up the garbage outside your door and takes it to the garbage bins.

Raelene says she didn't want it, but it's not an option.

And she says, while the valet service has been removing her trash, it just goes into the overflowing bins.

When Raelene let me know, I went to management.

I asked: why charge trash fees, yet let this go on for so long? What's the plan?

I was told they were on it.

Then, just after we left, Raelene emailed me.

"They had an epiphany. Within two hours the mattress was gone, poof! A truck showed up, poof!" she says.

Raelene's view from her apartment got a lot better.

"I don't see trash. It's a good thing," she says.

After more than three weeks, all of the trash was finally removed from all of the bins.

"I'm ecstatic! You made a huge difference," Raelene says.

I asked Cibola Apartments management about why there was such a long delay and I asked if they would be refunding some of the trash fee money residents were forced to pay.

I didn't get answers.

I'm investigating these "extra" monthly rental fees charged by many apartment complexes.

If you have to pay one, email me at