Failure to respond in a timely manner/proper way to a catastrophic disaster within the home. Ultimately resulting in the home becoming uninhabitable.
I called their office at 2:00 am on 10/31/13 because my home had completely flooded with water. To which I was told someone would be out later in the day. The carpet cleaner they sent to my home told me he is on call and can come any time, and yet they did not call him until the water had sat, soaking every room through out the entire room save for one small back bedroom, for over 8 hours. All of my things were ruined and the reason water came into the home was due to faulty drainage in the back yard, which flooded and a back door that is installed on the home backwards and has a gap at the bottom. All of this information had been relayed and still nothing. Finally, today on 11/5/13 they had an individual call and ask if they could come look at the floor tomorrow. I called Lewis property management on Friday 11/1/13 and told them the home was uninhabitable and I wanted to be contacted by the owner. Larry refused and told me none of this was his problem and that, ultimately, I was on my own. He would not put me into contact with the owner, saying that the reason he pays them is so he "doesnt have to deal with these problems." I know for a fact that the issues with the yard and back door were noted in the home inspection. Aside from that I constantly pay out of pocket to fix things within the home, as they only respond to 50% of my repair requests after multiple phone calls from me. It has been an utter nightmare and they have a complete lack of concern for the upkeep of this home. I don't even know if they owner is aware of the extent of the damage. I have conducted a mold test which came out a very strong positive for mold in the air. I explained to Larry the extent of the damages to the home and he proceeded to tell me they could not even have someone come and look at the home until all of the floors were dry. I explained that there is still water underneath the wood laminate floors and under the baseboards and to the sheetrock in the walls, not to mention the carpet, yet it took 5 days before they had a single soul contact me in order to examine the damage; all the while they expect me and my children to live in a home with ruined floors and mold throughout. I have never in my life dealt with a company so unprofessional, rude, and unethical. I only hope the owner of the home becomes aware of how poorly they are taking care of his property and how poorly and unprofessionally they treat their tenants. I expect a refund of my deposit, at the very least, to which Larry laughed and said it was again, not his problem.
I expect a refund of my deposit as well as reimbursement for all of the expenses I have incurred as a result of their carelessness and unwillingness to respond to the needs of their tenants, as well as their expectations of me to pay them to live in the filth and utter disrepair that is this home.
At 2:00 am in the morning of November the 1st I received a call from one of our tenants saying that her home was flooding from all the rain. I told her until the rain stopped there was little I could do at 2:00am in the morning. At 7:00am I sent a carpet cleaning company to the home to start extracting water and remove the padding from underneath the wet carpet. They also positioned several fans in the home to help speed up the drying. The tenant called the office around 9:00am very upset and stated that the rain had damaged all her furnishing. Now she said the house had mold and could not be lived in. She wanted us to replace all her furnishings and immediately return her security deposit. I explained to her that we could not do that. The rain that flooded her house was not anyone's fault. I told her to call her insurance company to see about filing a claim since she had renters insurance and see what they could do. She stated that she had lived there for more than 18 months and the house had never flooded before.
Over the next few days I tried several times to work with the tenant to see what we could do to minimize her suffering but she was unresponsive and only wanted us to replace everything and return her security deposit.
There are no winners in this situation, but we try to be very respectful and understanding when problems like these arises.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This response is laughable indeed, as most of it is untrue. I realize that this can amount to no more than a "he said, she said" situation, but this response is not only insulting, but in poor taste and I intend to state the truth. I spoke with Mr. Lewis the day of the event, was October 31, 2013, and was fortunate enough to have caught him in the office the following day. Though I had requested him to return my phone calls several times (of which I have time-stamped and recorded) he has yet to return a single phone call. So for them to say that they "tried several times to work with the tenant to see what we could do to minimize her suffering" is an outright lie. Furthermore, the individual who came to my home let it be known that he is on call 24 hours a day and would have been able to come to the home immediately had he been notified. Also, he stated that he could have prevented the extent of the damage that occurred had he arrived sooner. There was only one fan placed in the home. Literally one fan was provided to air out an entire 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. Does this not seem ludicrous? I did indeed speak with Mr. Lewis regarding the home, and it was indeed uninhabitable. However, that was after 3:00 PM on Friday November 1, not 9:00 AM on the day of occurrence. Not only that, but the individual who came to drain what water had not already been soaked into the wood laminate flooring and base of the walls did not arrive until after 9:00 AM. I did not demand Mr. Lewis replace all of my belongings, though I did request my security deposit because the home I was living in was indeed uninhabitable as it was. I did not want or expect a sudden move, but Mr. Lewis informed me that beyond the one fan that was placed in the home, he would not do anything and it was, in so many words, not his problem that the home was in an unlivable condition. Is that not a bizarre notion? So, I was left with no other choice than to move and I did expect my security deposit to be returned because I had indeed lost many pieces of my furniture. Do I also need to point out that by law, landlords cannot refuse to return the deposit without a valid reason? He again stated that was not his problem and that that is what renters and home owner's insurance is for. I would expect an individual in this line of work to know that neither of these covers damage in any way due to flood water, though I do currently have renters insurance. A separate flood policy is necessary to provide coverage for these specific events. He told me that an inspector would come by to evaluate the damage "sometime in the next couple of weeks." He tried to explain that no one could even come to look at the home until all the water had dried; a ridiculous and nonsensical explanation. I do not think anyone would be in disagreement as to whether or not this behavior constitutes even a single attempt at working with me, much less minimizing my "suffering." I had a mold test conducted in the home on the evening of Friday. November 1, 2013. The results were astounding, as the test was simply done for mold in the air. Though there was no doubt it would be positive because the air inside the home was not breathable without a mask to cover your nose and mouth, as the stench in the air was undeniably that of mold. There was still water under the wood laminate flooring 3 days after the event, as well. I reported all of this information to the property management company, but to no avail.The rear door on the home had been installed incorrectly and was, in fact, placed on the home backwards, preventing the weather-stripping from meeting the threshold properly. This fact was not only noted in the inspector's report when this home came under the current management, but the first time I had someone from this property management company come to the home for a repair, I showed it to him and he said he would report it to the company, though he did not think it mattered. If I had the magical foresight to anticipate a flood in my back yard and that this door would allow water into the home, things may have been different. As it stands, I feel that not only was I expected to bear the damaged and mold-ridden environment with no assistance from the property management company, but they could have cared less about the health hazard this posed to myself and my children. I would also like to point out that by law, a landlord is liable to a tenant in the event that the condition of the home materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant. Are not floors, stairways, and railings expected to be in good repair and effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls be in place? I cannot fathom how a property management company could, in good faith, expect a tenant to occupy a dwelling in this condition and feel that they have no obligation to make the conditions habitable. As I previously stated, no one even came to evaluate the extent of the damaged for 6 full days after the damage occurred. Mr. Lewis had stated that he would be by the day of the event, but he never stepped foot in the home. Even with me telling him the following day of the awful conditions, he still refused to even have someone come see what needed to be done for several days as he stated that the home must be dry before that was possible. Since that time he has not returned my phone calls and I have left several messages with his office. This is an appalling way to run a business and an even greater offense against a person as human being. There was no respect and certainly no understanding offered by this company.