Craig Tolbert Realty
Katrina New Orleans, LA

I completely regret the day that I signed a lease with Craig Tolbert. I rented an Uptown apartment and found out it is full of lead paint after performing a home lead test. The paint is literally peeling and chipping off of windows, doors, walls – everywhere. You can’t open the windows because of the lead dust inside the sill. If you have small children DO NOT rent from Tolbert until getting the apartment tested for lead. They knew I had a baby and still rented the unit to us because they say ”they don’t know of any lead in their units.” HELLO, the building was constructed in the late 1800s, of course it has lead. When we called them to ask about the lead, they said we were prohibited from getting the unit tested. I guess they wanted to wait until our child got lead poisoning to be sure? All they care about is the money, not their tenants.
Also, our oven didn’t work from day 1, and there were two huge holes in our windows – one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. You could stick your fist through these holes and bugs came in all of the time.

The best part might be the sewage gas that was escaping into our apartment from the basement via a huge hole in our bathroom floor. Our entire apartment smelled of gas, which the gas company said was most like from the sewer – GROSS AND HAZARDOUS. The gas technician’s gas detector was beeping like crazy when it was over the hole, indicated a gas leak. Actually, the entire building smells like sewage – our eyes were burning the day we left and we couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

We had to lose our deposit and break our lease so save our baby from a lifetime of problems due to lead exposure, but it is worth it. My advice is to avoid Tolbert’s properties at all costs, or at least take the time to examine (and smell) every inch of the unit before signing the lease. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

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9 Responses to Craig Tolbert Realty

  1. Romy says:

    The draw with this company is that rent is cheap.
    Unlike Katrina, I can’t complain about the lead thing because.. it’s not like they’re lying.. they’re just letting you know. Which is better than not. That’s what it takes for cheap rent.

    However, the rest is more important. Like her, I had a lot of faulty..things.

    As I was moving in the fix it guy was repairing the toilet and the shower.. but at least it was before we had already moved in.. but I wonder how the previous tenant was living.

    We’ve had our oven replaced (with another old one) because the last one the pilot would go out all the time and leak gas. Our heater broke, and we didn’t even bother asking for a new one because.. I didn’t want to call and deal with them.

    Bugs aren’t really an issue. I caulked.

    One time they repaired something in a different unit, and it left ours with no water to the toilet. They left it like that over the weekend and didn’t consider it an “emergency” and we had to fill it with water and manually flush it.

    There was a fire downstairs, and the landlord didn’t even alert the tenants who were out of time that their unit had caught fire. Then, they did electrical repair and didn’t alert us to when the power would be off in the building.

    At least their are blinds on the windows.

    Though they hadn’t cleaned at all when we moved in. I think they bombed the place for bugs, because there were dead roaches everywhere. THey left it like that. It was disgusting.

  2. Katrina says:

    I have an update to our wonderful Tolbert situation. We left our unit for a month to visit family and just came back to get the rest of our belongings before moving out for good. The manager told us that he sent someone into the apartment while we were gone to see if we were still living there. I know that was shady, but I was happy that he at least told us about it. I never imagined that the person they sent in would actually STEAL our stuff.

    When we returned to the apartment we found that our laptop full of our baby pictures from the first months of her life (which are now gone forever), kitchen appliances, pots and pans and my husband’s handmade jewelry and a Coach purse are GONE. My husband spent months making the jewelry and now it is all gone, including his tools. We drove across country to retrieve these belongings and someone stole what we considered the most important items. I would have laughed at the irony if I wasn’t so pissed/sad. Someone literally ransacked our place because I found jewelry pieces all over, so I’m thinking they were rummaging for anything of value.

    I don’t have proof that it was someone from Tolbert’s company that stole from us, since we just filed a police report and hopefully will find out something soon. All I do know for sure is that they admitted they were in there and there was no forced entry. Our door was locked when we arrived, which indicates that the last person in there had a key.

    When we called the office to report the theft, we were hung up on! How professional, right? The office staff is extremely rude and incompetent.

    Be VERY, VERY, VERY careful when renting from these people!!!!! I just wish I could go back in time and rent from a different company. Now we are out of a deposit, beloved personal belongings and a home. I’m just sick that the pictures of my baby’s first days of life are gone and that someone may get away with this. I hope that my posts can prevent other people from making this mistake!

  3. Katrina says:

    Oh and Romy – I was always told that things weren’t “emergencies” when I called the after-hours line. After the office staff hung up on me when I called regarding the theft, I tried calling back but she didn’t pick up again. I tried the after-hours line and was told that theft wasn’t considered an emergency by this company. That’s when I called the police.

  4. D says:

    We have rented from Craig Tolbert for over three years and I’m so glad to see he’s on this website and that other people realize what a terrible landlord he is.

    The “staff” consists of one woman who answers all phone calls and has no control over anything except signing leases and giving out keys. Since we moved in she has gone from a jolly, warm, and kind woman to a pale, bitter, unhappy b*%ch. She looks like she either needs a raise or a vacation. All questions go to her and 99% of the time she does not have the answer like; “when will xyz be fixed? Ive been calling about it for a month” or “my neighbors said someone came by, what were they doing?”. Usually shell be talking to someone else and not even pay attention or she gets really nasty with you before you’ve even asked a question. I think it’s because she deals with so many complaints all day but shes definitely changed drastically since we first started renting. They’re completely unorganized and have the worst customer service Ive ever encountered.

    The sad thing is that in the beginning we thought this was a dream apartment and anytime my roommates or I called about something it would be fixed the next day, the rent was low and in a good location too. Now they can’t get something fixed in under two months and the price of rent continues to rise. I have never seen the price go up so much on an apartment in such a short period of time. It’s raised $350 in the past year and about to go up again, the only explanation is “the cost of doing business”. What does that even mean? What kind of business? They certainly haven’t increased their staff and its definitely not going towards making the apartments look nicer. If you rent from him prepare for a 50% increase after your first lease is up. It’s kind of sad how downhill theyve gone. I would be weary of renting from them now, the interior quality is not at all worth their current prices.

  5. L Carr says:

    THIS IS THE MOST UNPROFESSIONAL TEAM TO DEAL WITH. The latest issue we have had problems with is that our deposit, which was promised to us within 24 hours of turning in our keys, has been witheld for TWO WEEKS now. Even though our lease is expired, they claim that we owe them money for a bill we NEVER RECEIVED. Don’t you think this problem should have been brought to our attention in January. When speaking directly to the landlord, he claimed to be a lawyer, said he deducted the money from our deposit, and then proceeded to HANG UP on me. I would NEVER RECOMMEND THEM TO ANYONE.

  6. Katrina says:

    I just wanted everyone to be aware that Craig Tolbert Realty goes under “nola-apartments.com” on Craiglist. They used to have their full name on the website, but it’s gone now. I assume they read all of the bad reviews (they actually called me out on writing one of them the day we were moving out- they are that unprofessional) and are trying to trick people into renting from them. They don’t even say “Craig Tolbert Realty” when they answer the phone – the pathetic secretary just says “realty office” or something. I guess they are trying to hide something! Please don’t rent from this so-called company, you will definitely regret it and most likely get suckered out of money. Your health may even be in jeopardy since many of their apartments are hazards.

  7. Disgusted former tenant says:

    If I can offer anyone a bit of advice, PLEASE do not rent from NOLA Apartments/Craig Tolbert. He has a monoopoly on the Uptown/University area and is a total crook. His staff (mainly Kelly and a “Property Manager” named Denny) are just doing his dirty business. They do not respond to issues with their properties in a timely manner and when they do, they merely mask the real problem at hand (ex. painting over dangerous mold growth). Our kitchen ceiling was caving in with a water leak for nearly three months. I did not get my deposit back for lack of cleanliness although the apartment had never looked better…when we moved in it was covered in dirt, dust and hair. They are truly threatening to anyone who challenges their blantant criminality and laughed in my face when I explained that they were clearly not upholding the lease agreements. Unfortunately Craig is a good ol’ Southern boy (racist, too) who I’m sure has connections in the city. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

  8. former tenant says:

    If you rent from Craig Tolbert you will not get your deposit back regardless.

  9. Disgusted says:

    I agree, the Tolbert are all about the money. I have been trying to get basic repairs done… broken toilet and shower for over 4 months!!! There are apartments in the ghetto that are better than these.

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