College Town Realty is a family-owned property management company handling about 300 properties within Davis; for this service they charge 6% of the tenant's gross monthly rent. Ching Chang, the principal owner of College Town, is a UC Davis Masters graduate of the Food Science & Biochemistry departments and has lived in Davis since 1968. College Town primarily offers rentals of houses, duplexes, and small apartment complexes — a current listing is available on their website.
They have a reputation for not being responsive to maintenance requests and patching up old, energy-inefficient appliances until they can't be repaired anymore. There also have been problems with people getting back the security deposit they're owed — beware.
Local properties managed by College Town Realty include
For a listing of other property managers handling accounts in the Davis, please visit our Property Management page. Additionally, our Housing Guide can provide helpful information about your landlord-tenant relationship. However what you will really need to look at after dealing with these people is Tenant Rights.
What's your experience with College Town Realty?
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2005-07-18 16:10:32 I've lived in Davis for 4 years and easily this is the worst experience I have had. They simply don't seem to care about our house and assisting us. —BobGill
2005-07-19 00:30:00 I was stupid and didn't want my rent to be late. I don't like banks and generally use cash. I dropped my rent in cash through the doorslot to their office, heard it land inside, and left. A few days later, they asked where the rent was. I didn't have a receipt, but I told them what I'd done. I explained that someone who had access to their office must have stolen it, and that I would drop money off again if they wanted to catch them. Ching Chang wasn't interested. —JoeConte
I heard somewhere that the post office sells money orders for less than a buck. —DomenicSantangelo
Never use cash like that. —ScottBlock
2005-11-11 17:08:33 We've had a wonderful time in our 1BR in Tamarack so far... just sunny enough, carpets in good shape, and a shared jacuzzi whose temperature is actually quite nice (we hear this is a rare find in Davis.) College Town Realty prorated our rent, too, so we're only paying $795/month on an 11-month lease — they seem pretty flexible about such things. Of course, only now do we have to move for school reasons.
We need someone to pick up where our reduced-rate lease left off — if you're interested in a move-in date starting at 12/1, though 12/15, 1/1, etc are also manageable — call me. 510-318-0056. —AraGlenn-Johanson
2006-01-03 08:32:44 These guys don't maintain shit. And talking with them is like entering every steretypical Asian English-as-a-second-or-third-language experience you can imagine. —ApolloStumpy
2006-02-23 23:06:11 Do your self a favor, whatever you do DO NOT, I repaet DO NOT get involved with this guy. They are terrible, worse than terrible. They are no to be trusted and have many compalints against them. Life is too short to deal with scum like this. I can't believe he went to Davis. —RenfoDome
2006-09-14 12:07:47 Maureen, the lady at the front desk is very helpful and nice, however the Changs (especially Eugene) are lying manipulative bastards. They won't do anything for you unless you beg and grovel for it, and Eugene is by far a POS, he will harass you daily over small amounts ($400) even if it isn't owed by you. Do yourself a favor and avoid the monster headache that CT is. —HarroldBouquest
2006-10-05 11:37:59 I may be the exception here, but I actually had a good experience with these guys. I lived at both Tamarack and College Town Commons. College Town was a bit more run down, but there was new carpet and linoleum, was clean and had the (I've heard rare) feature of washer/dryer hookups in the apartment. Tamarack I thought was great. The place was in excellent condition - new carpet and linoleum, very clean and spacious. I never had any trouble with the management at either apartment...they really didn't bother us unless we had an issue and then they would come deal with it. —LarissaTessler
2006-10-05 11:49:03 One other thing, I forgot...I had a slight issue with getting my deposit back from College Town Commons - the check had been made out to me plus the guy who moved out before I moved in, as well as my roomate. My bank wouldn't let me cash the check (as my roomate and I had agreed upon) so I went into the College Town Realty offices to complain, expecting a huge fight involving threats to take them to small claims court, etc. However, they were completely understanding, had me give my ex-roomate a call and email them with permission to make the check out to me, and let me know the issue would be resolved that day. Not a half hour later, I got a call saying I could come in and pick up my check. Nothing could have been easier. Maybe I'm just catching these guys on their good days, but my experiences with them have always been positive. —LarissaTessler
2007-03-28 23:19:25 College Town Realty is a blight on Davis. Its owners, Ching and Lucy Chang, are lying thieving scumbags who deserve to be run out of town. Despite repeated judgments against them in Small Claims Court for illegally withholding tenant security deposits Ching and Lucy persist in their stealing and they did it to me.
Knowing the Changs reputation and history I spent a whole day cleaning my apartment and took digital photos of everything. I did the move out inspection with Lucy and she refused to give me a copy of my End of Term Inspection Report, as required by law. “The copy machine is broken.” I suggested using the copy function on the fax. “The fax is broken too.” Yeah right.
Two weeks later I get the letter—$195 deduction for cleaning, without explanation of why or what. $80 for the carpet. Plus….
They deducted the full cost of a new patio door to replace one that got cut and bent out of shape by a burglar who tried to break in months before. I reported the breakin to the apartment manager when it happened and requested a new door at that time. They never fixed it while I lived there, but as soon as I left they replaced the door and charged me for it.
Ching and Lucy wrote that I WORE OUT THE TOILET SEATS and charged me for two new toilet seats, plus labor charges for installation . I wore out the roller tracks in the kitchen drawers, they wrote, and charged me for those too. Clearcut violations of California tenant law; a landlord can’t charge one tenant for items that were used and worn out by many tenants over a period of years. Those toilet seats were from the 1980’s!
An attorney advised me that I had a strong case for Small Claims Court, especially with my digital photos. But I was already in a new job hundreds of miles away. The cost of going to court—airfare, missed work, etc—would exceed the damages I could collect. So Ching and Lucy squeezed a few hundred more out of me. Don’t be Ching and Lucy’s next victim. Boycott College Town Realty. —SteveGreen
2007-05-31 14:29:25 I have lived at college town commons for 3 years and by far the new manager they have is awesome. Have never had any complaints regarding maintenance of my units they are always on top of things. They have even painted the buildings and are always working on mordernizing the grounds.
I have sen the newly remodeled units (3 bedrooms) that they are doing and will be moving into one of them this summer. They are by far the nicest units in Davis. And it is very quiet here in South Davis. Come on you know what I mean.
as for some of the negitive responses you see here they have to be only the people that make problems for them selves. The ones that look for reasons to complain and this forum gives them a soap box to stand on. Well here is a bit more for you. some people just have all the book knowledge and NO common sense.
2007-06-15 11:31:17 I've had really positive experiences with College Town. When one of us forgets to pay the rent, they will call and remind us and not charge any late fees. When things break, they come by pretty quickly. I've lived in my house for two years and haven't had any problems with them. Eugene is really nice, maybe it is because the person that owns the house is really nice, but it's been great. —AmyGoogenspa
2007-07-25 16:35:40 Six months after moveout I'm still waiting for my security deposit from College Town Realty. Not holding my breath.
I just checked College Town Realty's website and Ching and Lucy still require TWO AND A HALF MONTHS rent prior to movein! First month, last month, PLUS another half month!
On a 3-bedroom at College Town Commons renting for $1395 that means $1395 + $1395 + $798 = $3588 in Ching's palm before you get the keys.
Per the College Town lease, Ching and Lucy pay 0.5% interest on your money while they hold it. They can invest your money in CD's earning 5.75% or more. At moveout you get 0.5% back (if you get anything at all) and the other 5.25% goes into Ching and Lucy's thieving pockets.
If you stay two years at a College Town property that 5.25% in lost interest adds up to about $230. (5.25% X 2 years x ($1395+$798))
Multiply $230 by all the apartments Ching and Lucy own. Multiply that by all the years Ching and Lucy have been running their shady operation in Davis. We're talking hundreds of thousands in interest payments that Ching and Lucy have stolen from Davis residents, on top of the high rents they charge.
2007-09-21 19:52:14 I lived in a Linden Lane property owned and managed by the Changs. They took months to install window shades in our apartment (or fix anything for that matter) and kept almost our entire security deposit, despite the fact that it was a run down piece of crap house when we moved in. In fact, they charged us for damaged window screens that never even existed. When we went to ask for receipts for what they "fixed" the said "you no play game with me" and all the sudden didn't speak English anymore. The reason we're posting this is to encourage other students to file small claims court cases when their security deposits are wrongfully withheld. We did, and received a judgement for more than our security deposit based on their failure to fix things when we asked them to. Good luck to you all...our best advise would be to not rent from these con artists in the first place. —nicolestarktrudiopton
2008-03-31 17:31:26 slum lords... terrrrrrriiibbbllllleee, HORRIBLE landlords. said ridiculous things like we were ruining our futures with late rent... —bara
2008-06-27 18:40:12 I live in an apartment owned by ching chang and co. and yet, there is no daviswiki page representing my apartments. We are 12 (very old and dilapidated) apartments situated above the FORMER cafe Roma, now 3rd and U. I will make a page for us, but if I move out before I get around to it, then would someone create one, and myself and the other 11 apartments will gladly share their feelings (and pictures) on how we've been abused, taken advantage of, and subsequently retaliated in the last year in particular. It has been a horrendous 6 months for us, stories well worth sharing. —JoeSaavedra
2008-06-28 13:07:41 JoeSaavedra,
Even if you don't have time to create a new dedicated Wiki page for your apartment complex I hope you'll at least post a brief version of your experiences with Ching and Lucy Chang here. It's important that we continue putting the word out on this man/wife team of crooks.
Chang is also a licensed realtor. A broker at one of Davis's largest realty companies told me his company discourages clients from viewing Ching Chang's listings. Chang's reputation in town is not good, and not only among student renters. This broker told me that College Town Realty hasn't closed a house sale since 2006! But Chang still runs his ad in the Davis Enterprise, touting himself as a "Real Estate Expert". LOL! An expert who hasn't sold a house in a year and a half. —SteveGreen
2008-08-05 10:38:22 Reasonable price, reasonable size, reasonably clean. Much better then Acadian (not saying much). It's not quite as posh as some other places, but they get the job done. And if you know me, saying a group isn't a disgrace is a flattering complement. —ChristopherMckenzie
2008-08-22 20:58:45 Lets see 'Slum Lords'!!!! Well all I can say is I wish I has done a lot more research before we decided to live here. Do not let the free months rent deceive you. There are a long list of horrible things that go on here, just to mention a few … it is like pulling teeth to get them to repair anything and then when they do they bill you for the labor. They lose your checks and blame it on you, even when you hand it to the manager personally. Forget about your deposit, once you hand it over, just kiss it good bye, because you are never going to see it again. In addition the manager has no common sense and she does not know the law. She tries to get first, last and a deposit before you move in. Of which is a big no, no and against the law. They can ask for first and a deposit or last and a deposit, but not all three! Be careful if they try to rewrite the contract after you sign it. We showed up one day to our signed contract taped to our door with changes?!?! Hello after a contract is signed it can only be changed if both parties agree. Please beware before you sign a contract with this complex or any other complex under College Town Realty. They will tell you they are the best in Davis, the best at taking your money. They have many, many hazards that need to be fixed!!! Oh and the maintenance guy/gal is very nosy and makes sure they nickel and dime you for everything! —MAO
2009-08-19 18:40:30 I had already re-signed the lease for my house and shortly after, found out that I could not live there anymore due to personal circumstances. My housemates decided that they were going to move out as well. Therefore, If I don't get the house rented out, I am liable for rent payment. I am a full-time student and I am unemployed. I have tried my best to advertise, but it seems to not suffice. So, I hope that someone sees this and is interested.
It is a 1-story town house in South Davis on Lillard Drive :
- 4 Bdrm/2 Bth (including master bdrm with bathroom & sliding door that opens to the garden)
- large garden with sunroom & fountain
- 2 car garage with large, open driveway & plenty of street parking (wide street)
- large kitchen with sliding door that opens to the garden as well
- large, spacious living room
- beautiful front lawn with lots of shade
Estimated rent price for a bdrm = $400, for the entire house = $2,000.
$500 BONUS OFF 1ST MONTH RENT!!
Lease begins September 1st, 2009.
Feel free to contact me by email for more detailed information, or if you're interested and have any questions, comments, or concerns.
You can also directly contact COLLEGE TOWN REALTY to schedule an appointment to check out the house or to request to view photos. —quachk
2009-08-27 21:05:13 Anyone interested in starting a class action law suit? I have documented evidence that the staff of this company has been lying to its customers and if you had the same experience maybe we can work together to get some justice.
I would recommend staying away from College Town Realty. Renting here would be giving your money to the cause of greed and vileness. —signal
2009-09-15 15:54:45 I have been living in a duplex that they manage but do not own for two years now. College town has been fine this whole time. Our things get fixed when they break or need fixing and in a very timely manner - sometimes the same day. Then again, we aren't the type of renters that put in requests to change a lightbulb (yes, they do get those requests). We have only dealt with Eugene, and it has been quite pleasant. I suppose we will see if we get our deposit back (luckily it we didn't have to put down very much). —lemurific
2010-06-04 12:07:53 I currently live in a duplex managed by College Town. We have had no problems with the office, they have always been very helpful. The maintenance man, Dale, on the other hand is a nightmare. It is a constant battle with him to get anything done and most of his repairs are mostly just temporary fixes. He is just obnoxious when he comes over and there are several repairs that we have asked him to fix multiple times but he claims that we never told him. We are moving out because we do not want to have to deal with his BS anymore. —kateso
2010-08-22 09:44:12 Kateso,I have always called the office and reported work needed. And Dale is always there in a timely manner to make repairs. Well, I'm not a student so I don't break the same things over and over. —robjeters
2012-05-30 17:24:08 I moved in to Tamarack Apartments in September 2012, which is managed by College Town Realty. I was a little apprehensive at first because of all the negative reviews I had seen on here. At the beginning of the year, we were having problems with our water heater, and a technician from PG&E came by and told us that we needed a new one. College Town did everything they could to avoid buying a new one for us, but once I threatened to sue them they got us a new one instantly. Ever since then, they've been great to us. They even bought us a new fridge recently because ours was having minor problems. In addition (and they don't just do this for us), they'll actually send maintenance to your place to scrub the mold off the walls/ceiling once it gets moldy.
My advice: get their attention early by threatening some form of legal action (maybe consider lying and telling them you're a law student too), and then you'l have a great experience! —AustinSendek