Tenants claim apartment management isn't fixing major damage

January 15, 2013 10:00:00 PM PST
A Baytown couple says they are fed up over some major damage in their apartment. The couple called Eyewitness News, complaining they've been living with damage left from a leaking roof at their home in Cypress Bend Apartments on Shady Hill Drive.

The couple says the ceiling collapsed several weeks ago, water is dripping in their unit, the damaged roof can be seen through the gaping hole, they are constantly putting down buckets and pails to capture leaking water, and their water-soaked carpet is destroyed.

The tenants say they've been complaining to property management about the water leak since November. The issue became more severe, they say, in late December when they heard a loud noise and woke up to find the ceiling in their upstairs den collapsed.

The couple says they've submitted several work orders, but they claim they continue to get excuses from complex management. The couple says they're concerned the damage present in their apartment is a health and safety hazard. They claim management told them there would be a delay in repairs because the property is in the process of being sold.

Eyewitness News made several attempts to contact Cypress Bend property management and staff with visits to the complex leasing office and by phone. None of our calls were returned.

Eyewitness News learned several tenants in the complex are complaining about similar issues. A spokeswoman from the city of Baytown confirms the city's neighborhood department received two complaints about damaged roofs and leaks in the complex just this month.

A Bay City investigator was assigned to do a site inspection at the complex after a tenant's complaint on January 8. The inspector says complex management advised him the problem would be fixed.

A second anonymous complaint was received by them on January 15. The inspector says property management informed him they'd hired a contractor to repair 13 known roof leaks, and they were waiting for the weather to clear to begin the work.

The complaining couple says they have waited way too long for the complex to address the repairs. ABC13 Eyewitness News legal analyst Joel Androphy says tenants in situations like this have options. Androphy says landlords are expected to address issues and work orders in a reasonable amount of time. He says the response should be immediate when it involves a health and safety concern. Androphy says the tenants could have the matter resolved by the Justice of the Peace.

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