Baytown woman says she's fed up after dealing with water leaks in her apartment for over a year

Courtney Carpenter Image
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Baytown woman fed up with temporary fixes to damaging water leaks
A Baytown woman has been dealing with water leaks off and on for more than a year. Despite maintenance reportedly fixing the issues, the problems persist.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- Frustration continues for a Baytown woman who says she has been dealing with water leaks that have wreaked havoc in her apartment on and off for more than a year.

Despite maintenance coming to supposedly fix the problems, the leaks continue.

"The baseboards are so dry-rotted. It's bad," Victoria Ellison explained.

Baseboards in Ellison's Baytown apartment are squishy to the touch, she says, due to how many times water has seeped through the walls.

"I couldn't even tell you how many work orders I put in because every time I turn around, it was leaking," Ellison explained.

She says her A/C has leaked, water comes in from outside when it rains, and she's dealt with several leaking pipes.

"I put a work order in. They came. They fixed it. Well, supposedly fixed it. It leaked again, like a few weeks later, maybe a month later. They came and fixed it, and just a couple of nights ago, it leaked again," Ellison said.

The maintenance crew does respond, but she's frustrated because, after multiple requests for a fix, she says all she's gotten is patchwork, and the mess continues.

"This is where the two walls were separating, and all they did was paint over it," Ellison said.

Ellison works 12-hour shifts at the hospital as a nurse assistant and says she's used up her paid time off having to be home to try to take care of the problem. She says she's sharing her story in hopes that others don't have to deal with this.

"Do better. I don't care if you have to hire new maintenance men. If you have to hire legit contractors from outside to come in, that's what you need to do. Spend the money to make sure your apartments are livable for your tenants," Ellison said.

ABC13 has called and emailed SMI Realty Management, who owns the Sterling Bay Apartments, and so far, we have not heard back.

So what can you do if you are in a similar situation? We spoke to an attorney who says, first, try to work it out with your landlord, put your requests in writing and ask to speak with a regional manager.

If that doesn't work, you can go to the justice of the peace court and file a repair and remedy lawsuit.

Some of the possible outcomes are that the judge can order the repairs to be made correctly or that you be let out of your lease.

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