City advises renter to move after Third Ward landlord continues to not fix up home

Courtney Carpenter Image
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Landlord says property problems are on tenants not paying rent
After multiple warnings, a Third Ward landlord has still not fixed up his tenant's home, and it appears the city is not stepping in to help.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Last month, ABC13 told you about the problems Mary Gomez has been having with her Third Ward landlord, Brad Batteau.

Then, Houston city Councilmember Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, District D, told ABC13 Batteau had two more weeks to fix the place up or else the city would put a lien on the house and fix it themselves.

Now, it's been more than a month since the repairs should have been completed, but Gomez said no fixes have been made.

"I was misinformed regarding that," Evans-Shabazz said.

Gomez says the central A/C still does not work, the back door doesn't close, and the windows are broken. Now, it doesn't seem the city will help.

"Nothing at this point, to my understanding. But, again, we do need to look at these types of things to see if we can assist people in these kinds of situations," Evans-Shabazz explained.

Batteau owns more than a dozen properties around Third Ward. He was issued citations from the city, but nothing seems to change. He says he fixed the issues he was cited for at this house. But the city says he didn't, and he has outstanding citations.

Batteau says his properties are in such bad shape because the tenants don't pay rent.

SEE ALSO: Third Ward landlord says his tenants are to blame for lack of water after winter freeze

"This is what people fail to realize. Every tenant is behind on rent. I feel bad they are calling me a 'slum lord,' but in reality, I feel that I should be called a 'man of God.' That's what I should be called because I could be putting people out on the streets under the bridge," Batteau said.

It's a complicated situation where no one seems to be winning, and it appears the city can't do anything about it either.

Gomez is looking for a new place to live and is not hopeful for whoever rents this house next.

"The same cycle over, and it's going to happen again when I move out. They aren't solving the problem," Gomez said.

Gomez says she plans to move out and into a motel in a few days.

Batteau says after he gets his tax lawsuits squared away, he will sell some properties to better maintain the others.

For more on ABC13's Renters' Rights, follow Courtney Carpenter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.