House becomes nightmare for family

April 10, 2008 8:50:49 PM PDT
What happens when your home is condemned by the city? If you're a renter, you call your landlord, right?

So what happens when he won't do anything to help you, even though he owns the house? We found out that's happening in Pasadena and then we did some digging on the owner.

After living in this house just three weeks, Melissa Rodriguez is already packing up. Here place at 6604 Bramley has a lot of problems like an unlevel floor, a breaker that's overloaded, but that's not the worst of it.

"The main problem is we can't use our restroom at all," she said. "My husband fell through the floor."

That was two days ago. Since then, Melissa has been taking her five children to the corner store to use the restroom all the while hoping her landlord would fix it. He didn't.

So Thursday she called Pasadena's Health Department and the news got grimmer.

"None of them are connected," she said. "It's all going under the house."

City officials tell us the sewer pipes are not connected to the toilets, which means all the sewage has been just sitting under the house.

Because it's now a health hazard, the city told Melissa she and her family must get out until the landlord makes repairs. They'd rather have their money back. So they called him requesting their $1,800 in rent and deposits.

"He hung up on us," she said.

The city didn't get much of a response either when an inspector told him he needed to fix the problems.

"He said maybe he'd get around to it this weekend?maybe," said Richard Scott who works for the city of Pasadena.

We searched state and county records to find that 6604 Bramley was owned by Imperial Interests. The general partner is Dr. Glenn Weissfisch. He owns at least 45 other properties in the Houston area. Three of our phones to him all ended the same way, with a hang up.

For now Melissa and her family will stay with relatives. Their search for a new house begins soon.

City officials say if the landlord doesn't make repairs within 30 days, the city will start the process of tearing the house down.

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