COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Adam Candelas moved to Columbus in February, signing a 14-month lease with Sawmill Crossing Apartments. That rental agreement included a garage, which Candelas used for storage.

“I had a washer and dryer that were in there,” said Candelas. “A bookcase — I had a wired rack shelf, I had a nightstand, I had a smart scale, a computer.”

And much more, all totaling more than $3,300, according to Candelas’s calculations.

But less than a month after move-in day, Candelas said he went into the garage to get a few things, and to his surprise, “The apartment complex went into my garage and removed everything from the garage.”

Candelas said he knew it wasn’t the act of a thief. So, he immediately contacted the complex.

“I went up to the leasing office, they told me, ‘We thought that was vacant.’ They completely did not realize that they had signed an agreement with me, assigning that garage to me. So, I lost everything that was in there,” said Candelas. “They just basically told me that it’s gone.”

Candelas told me he got a call from the complex, offering him $500 to cover the cost of the items he lost.

“I think most likely I’ll end up having to settle for something less than the full amount,” said Candelas.
But Better Call 4 has been working since June to get in touch with Sawmill Crossing, and finally heard from the complex’s legal counsel, attorney Michael Cassone.

Cassone said that “while Sawmill Crossing disputes the allegations from Mr. Candelas, they are always open to alternative dispute resolution, and look forward to sitting down and negotiating a fair and just resolution.”

Both Candelas and Cassone tell me they are interested in participating in mediation through Franklin County Municipal Court. In fact, Cassone said he’s contacted the Mediation Department, and is waiting to hear back to schedule a meeting.