Next Time Keep the Bill Below $3 Grand and You Can Avoid Those Costly Panic Attacks

Just how big is the South Grand at Pecan Grove apartment complex in Richmond? Well, moving from one side of the complex to the other can cost you just south of $8 grand — and maybe a little hospitalization. Tentra Allen’s moving adventure last weekend began after she responded to a little Craigslist ad and signed a little contract with the moving company that showed up:

. . . Before unloading things, Andy said Allen had to pay the bill: $7,684. That included 35 units of shrink wrap for $2,800 and a “long walk” that cost $4,300.

Allen said Andy whipped out the contract, which said all previous verbal agreements were null and void and laid out a menagerie of outrageous charges in the fine print.

“If you don’t pay, we’re taking everything to Maine,” he threatened.


Allen said she started freaking out, suffering a panic attack as she desperately called co-workers at the local courthouse where she works as a civil clerk.

Her sister, Tonya Harris, called 911, and an ambulance arrived to take Allen to the hospital.

Law enforcement officers also showed up and threatened the movers with arrest.

They eventually backed down after accepting $300.

Photo: South Grand at Pecan Grove

9 Comment

  • Unfortunately, this kind of scam is somewhat common. Next time you look for movers, look in the phone book instead of Craig’s List.

  • So what’s the name of this crap moving company so others can avoid using them? Allen’s lucky she works in the court system and obviously has connections because I can’t even get the cops out on a break-in much less a contract dispute. Since when do police respond to contract disputes? I think anyone else’s belongings would have gone to Maine.

  • The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has tips sheets for consumers to use before moving, during moving, and after moving here:

  • Unfortunately, this kind of scam is somewhat common. Next time you look for movers, look in the phone book instead of Craig’s List.

    Making sure there is a name on the side of the truck helps also. Unless you know who owns the truck. Also known as a friend helping you move.

  • And to Aimee at HAA:

    It would be nice if you would send out your own information to your own members about another scam. Apartment owners telling prosective tenants that they will not process an application without a deposit. And then finding something wrong with the application and keeping not only the application fee but the deposit as well.

  • Thanks for the recommendation Matt Mystery! TAA has some great resources for managers and renters on their website through this brochure (and I’ll post a more accesible link to it on our site):

    Renters should always have the opportunity to view the application criteria before submitting an application and paying a deposit (that way, if someone has a criminal history or credit issues, they will have a heads up if that is a determining factor for denial of an application).


  • Thanks for the link. I won’t debate the legality but always advise people that all they are required to pay is an application fee. If the apartment complex says they want an application deposit, I advise them to move on. Some just want the security deposit. To “hold” the apartment while the application is being processed.

    The latest “hidden cost of leasing an apartment” is the administrative fee. Often disclosed to the prospective tenant after they’ve paid the application fee and the security deposit, as opposed to the application deposit. So they’re going to pay it or walk away from their security deposit. Most of course pay it.

    Some prospective tenants are honest about “deferred adjudication” for felonies which is not a conviction and not supposed to be on their records but is public record nonetheless. But they don’t know that. So they don’t disclose it. Some leasing agents in fact tell them they don’t have to. And then of course their application is denied and they lose their security deposit or application deposit which often is half of the security deposit along with the application fee. Mostly poor people who of course can’t afford an attorney.

    As for application deposits, it’s still a deposit.

    And then of course there’s the new “allocated” water bills. Handled usually by someone else. But no one knows if they’re really paying their fair share of the water bill. Or paying their fair share plus a percentage of the property’s water bill for the pool and keeping all the gardens nice and pretty. Plus a percentage of the neighbor’s water bill who has children and does laundry three times a a day.

    It’s hell to be poor as Marvin Zindler used to say. Sometimes even when you’re not poor it’s still hell to be a tenant.

  • Before we bought our house, we rented houses and found that not only were many monthly rents comparable to apartments, we had a lot more privacy, quieter (nicer) neighbors and a great yard. Even better, my current mortgage is LESS than my rent was.

  • I am SURPRISED people know where and what Pecan Grove is. My dad’s company focused on Pecan Grove as I was growing up. Nice to know other people are aware of this area as well.