6 Top Rated Charlottesville Landlords: Virginia Off-Grounds Housing
university of virginia

When you attend a school that looks this beautiful, you deserve to go home to a nice place too. (Flckr)

Like moths to one of those excruciating bug zappers, it seems like students can’t help but be lured into a lease by the glimmer of a discounted security deposit and some stale doughnuts at the front of a rental office—free food gets us every time. But free stuff doesn’t always equate to a smart long-term decision when it comes to UVA off-grounds housing.

11 months down the line, you learn that you will not be receiving a dime of that “discounted” security deposit (though you’re pretty sure you left the place spotless), and those doughnuts hardly seem worth it anymore. If it’s happened to you, there’s a good chance it’s probably happened to someone else, and what better way to avoid the mistakes of our peers than by reading their hard-hitting testimonies online.

We sifted through landlords with at least five reviews on Google and found the most consistently high rated apartments and houses to rent near the University of Virginia campus. Here are the top five apartments or property management companies in Charlottesville near UVA:

Barry D. Willard Property Management

Average rating on Google: 4.9

Barry D. Willard Property Management is not only a mouthful to say but a modestly sized property management company, locally owned and operated by a man named Barry—obviously. Barry owns a handful of apartments and duplexes within walking distance of campus, all of which are well-maintained and reasonably priced.

Not only does he seem like an incredibly honest and fair landlord, but Barry also sounds like nothing short of a fantastic human being. He makes sure his tenants understand the terms of their leases and is quick to respond to maintenance requests. Some reviewers even remember him sending them birthday cards, stopping by with treats around the holidays, and helping them track down the perfect subleaser. He’s basically the Santa Claus of UVA landlords, and it seems like renting from him can only result in good things.

Our favorite Google review:

“Barry is not only an outstanding landlord but also just a great guy in general. He is probably the most attentive landlord I’ve ever had and was always quick to respond to any calls/emails for repairs around my apartment. From the start, he is upfront with you about anything you ask. He gives an honest assessment of the utility costs for the apartment and takes the time to carefully review the lease with you. Once you’ve moved in, he frequently checks in to make sure everything is running smoothly and going well for you. He is very easy to work with and seems to genuinely care about tenants. In terms of the apartment I rented from him, it was obvious that it had been well-maintained and I found it to be very reasonably priced.”

Uncommon Charlottesville

Average rating on Google: 4.4

Uncommon Charlottesville is the newest luxury apartment community to hit the UVA campus and offers furnished studio to 4 bedroom layouts. The complex boasts the kind of amenities you’d expect from a luxury high-rise—swimming pools, stainless steel appliances and even an indoor golf simulator—but it’s not just the fancy perks that have residents pumped for move-in day. The location leaves nothing to be desired and is within walking distance to campus, The Corner and downtown Charlottesville. Residents also seem to appreciate the friendly leasing staff, secure building and easy access to public transportation.

Our favorite Google review:

I will be living at Uncommon next year because it is the best housing option in Charlottesville, especially for undergraduates like me. It is walking distance to the Corner and to the university grounds, and has easy access to bus/trolley stops, making it even easier to get to class or to the downtown area. Uncommon is also brand new, high quality and very safe. I am very excited to move into my new home in the fall!”

HasBrouck Management

Average rating on Google: 4.2

Hasbrouck Management is one of the largest property management companies in Central Virginia and operates some rental properties across Charlottesville. Past and current residents make frequent mention of Vaida, a Hasbrouck rental manager, saying she is an absolute joy to work with. Similarly, the rest of the office staff is helpful and professional, and the maintenance crew is always prompt.

Our favorite Google review:

“With my current rental from HasBrouck I have been very pleased. They have been honest, trustworthy, and always keeping everything straightforward. My landlord was very helpful in setting up my lease and the office people have dealt with any small problems that have come up in a very professional way. I have been very satisfied with renting this property from Hasbrouck and hope to keep living here for a long time and I always know Hasbrouck can be trusted if any problems arise.”

Woodard Properties

Average rating on Google: 4.1

Woodard Properties owns and manages a number of apartments and houses near the campus area, housing nearly 750 students at UVA. The company and its employees strive to enrich not only the lives of their residents but the UVA/Charlottesville community as a whole. According to reviewers, they encourage recycling and composting at their properties and are actively involved in campus projects like the UVA student farm. They also seem to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure their residents always feel appreciated and cared for, whether it’s with free coffee, pizza nights or other resident perks. The company even offers tours over Skype for out-of-towners, so you won’t have to worry about be catfished by your future place.

Our favorite Google review:

“I have had a wonderful experience renting from Woodard Properties since August of 2015, and it is for that reason that I am continuing my lease for next year. Woodard provides free coffee for residents, random pizza nights, jewelry making, donuts during finals, and many other fun activities… Woodard is impressively sustainable, making an extreme effort to encourage recycling and composting. The staff at Woodard keeps the gym, study lounge, and halls exceptionally clean. Whenever something goes wrong in my apartment, all I’ve had to do is make a work order online (takes 3 minutes), and the problem has been fixed the following day… Overall, I am continually impressed with not only how accommodating the Woodard team is, but how generous and eager they are to make sure their residents are safe and happy.”

Braden Property Management

Average rating on Google: 4.0

Braden Property Management is a small business that rents a handful of properties to mostly undergrads and graduate students at UVA. According to reviewers, the owner, Mr. Braden, is easy to reach and incredibly flexible, often working around the schedules of his tenants. Many report that the properties are also clean and in great condition, with maintenance issues and other matters often resolved in less than 24 hours.

Our favorite Google review:

 “Braden Property is by far the best property management company I have worked with in all the years I have rented properties. Mr. Braden and the rest of his staff were extremely kind and courteous and responded quickly and efficiently to all my requests, whether it be for fixing items in the house (I had one minor leaky faucet that was dealt within 24 hours of submitting a request); tracking online payments (website has a great user interface); processing my initial application; or even helping me with a mortgage application for a future house. Mr. Braden himself is very easy to reach and personally guided my tour of the property I eventually rented. He was very flexible with working with me in terms of picking up keys, moving in, dropping keys off, and moving… I am very happy to have rented from Braden Property Management and would highly recommend this company to friends and family who are looking for rental properties in Charlottesville and the surrounding area.”

Management Services Corporation

Average rating on Google: 3.9

Reviewers of MSC often mention the attentive office staff and a maintenance team that never ceases to be extremely helpful.  MSC also hosts a variety of events for residents as a bit of an added benefit. The team’s attentiveness shows in its Google Reviews, as any time a resident cites a bad experience, a member of the MSC staff responds to the review and invites a conversation in a respectful manner. Many reviews cite three or four years of living at an MSC property, which goes to show that residents are often satisfied and re-signing their leases.

Our favorite Google review:

I’ve lived with MSC for 4 years now and have always had a great experience with them. Friendly staff, prompt responses to maintenance calls, and great events for residents. No complaints here!

If any of this has piqued your interest, make sure to check out more information on UVA off-grounds housing and browse student rentals in Charlottesville.

Callie Kollenbroich has been the Operations Coordinator and Content Writer/Editor at Rent College Pads since 2015. When she's not working, you can find her at home, eating peanut butter out of the jar and bingeing an unhealthy amount of Forensic Files. She's not as lame as she sounds.

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