Quantcast

Shreveport residents upset about condition of rental property - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Shreveport residents upset about condition of rental property

Posted: Updated:
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

Unlivable -- that's how several renters in Shreveport's Highland neighborhood describe their apartment.

The list of problems is long - from improper electrical wiring, to plumbing issues and leaks, to rotting wood.

Much of the repairs, the residents say, they've paid for themselves with no compensation from their former landlord.

"I'm the one supplying the sheet rock, the mud, having to climb up underneath the house and fix all the water leaks, going upstairs and hooking the neighbor's heater up."

Nick Chappell, his fiance, Angela Reeves, and their neighbors in a quad-plex on Rutherford Street in Shreveport say they weren't given the opportunity to see the apartments before they moved in, and weren't told the building was for sale at the time.

"We looked through the windows. He said he didn't have a key and that the kitchen floor needed to be replaced," says Reeves.

Reeves' next-door neighbor, Loretta McWilliams, whose 25-year-old autistic son needs constant care, says she was without hot water for a month because she claims she couldn't get her landlord, Thomas King, to make repairs.

"I'm the only one he's got to defend him, so that's the only reason I'm making an issue of it, because of my son," McWilliams says.

King, who sold the building at the end of 2013, wouldn't go on camera, but says he was never made aware of any issues.

He says, in the 10 years he owned the apartment, no other tenants ever complained about any of the problems.

The basic, minimum requirements for a building's condition in order to be occupied are spelled out in the Shreveport Property Standards ordinances, which were updated with a Renters Code two years ago.

For instance, the ordinance states all plumbing fixtures shall be maintained in a safe and usable condition.

It also states that all electrical facilities shall be installed and maintained in a safe manner which complies with state and federal codes in effect when the structure was built or substantially remodeled.

Reverend Aaron Dobynes is part of Interfaith Advocacy Group, which has been vocal about the importance of renter's rights in Shreveport.

"Those who own the houses will take advantage of the renters and their ignorance, and perhaps their desperation to just get something versus having nothing," Dobynes says.

He says he understands that tenants don't always uphold their end of the agreement, but their group is concerned with those building owners who don't properly and safely maintain their rental properties.

The new owner, who asked not to be identified, says King let the building fall into disrepair over the last few years.

The new owner did fix the issue with the hot water.

But the only way to do the extensive work, including knocking out walls and re-wiring electricity, is to ask the tenants to leave by terminating their lease, adding that he's willing to refund their deposit.

The city says enforcement of the ordinance depends on them receiving complaints.

Tenants are required to give their landlord a 10-day written notice of the problem before filing an affidavit in person at the Property Standards office.

That's located at 1025 Shreveport-Barksdale Hwy. in Shreveport.

  • KTBS 3 InvestigatesMore>>

  • KTBS 3 Investigation finds low levels of chlorine in Shreveport's public pools

    KTBS 3 Investigation finds low levels of chlorine in Shreveport's public pools

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:00:13 GMT
    National data from the CDC reveals one in eight pool inspections found serious violations that threatened public health and safety and resulted in immediate closure. Pretty gross, right? 
    National data from the CDC reveals one in eight pool inspections found serious violations that threatened public health and safety and resulted in immediate closure. Pretty gross, right? 
  • Overton Brooks' Patient's appointment cancellation causes concern

    Overton Brooks' Patient's appointment cancellation causes concern

    Friday, July 11 2014 2:28 PM EDT2014-07-11 18:28:29 GMT
    We've been told by many veterans that they receive quality care at the V.A. hospital in Shreveport. But for some getting an appointment to see their caregivers is the challenge. According to our V.A., they do not have a problem getting patients seen quickly - and the numbers they report echo that conclusion. We’ve uncovered concerns, however, over how their numbers look so good - while patients are still waiting to be seen.“Certainly from my viewpoint here, as a veteran, as a physician, the c...
    We've been told by many veterans that they receive quality care at the V.A. hospital in Shreveport. But for some getting an appointment to see their caregivers is the challenge. According to our V.A., they do not have a problem getting patients seen quickly - and the numbers they report echo that conclusion. We’ve uncovered concerns, however, over how their numbers look so good - while patients are still waiting to be seen.“Certainly from my viewpoint here, as a veteran, as a physician, the c...
  • Overton Brooks Patient says V.A. is lying about access to care

    Overton Brooks Patient says V.A. is lying about access to care

    Friday, July 11 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-07-11 18:14:50 GMT
    So far we've brought you a whistle blower employee, and then, after two weeks of waiting, you heard the official V.A. response. But it's said that there are three sides to every story.“We're not challenged for access at Overton Brooks, we can provide same day access, that's why we're encouraging same day access, that's why we're encouraging veterans to enroll into our system.” Those are the words from Interim Director at Overton Brooks V.A. Medical Center, Toby Mathew, during the news confere...
    So far we've brought you a whistle blower employee, and then, after two weeks of waiting, you heard the official V.A. response. But it's said that there are three sides to every story.“We're not challenged for access at Overton Brooks, we can provide same day access, that's why we're encouraging same day access, that's why we're encouraging veterans to enroll into our system.” Those are the words from Interim Director at Overton Brooks V.A. Medical Center, Toby Mathew, during the news confere...
  • NationalMore>>

  • Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

    Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:25 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:25:32 GMT
    Sarah Palin is starting her own subscription-based online network.
    Sarah Palin has started her own subscription-based online network.
  • It's all over but the arguing in Sterling trial

    It's all over but the arguing in Sterling trial

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:06 AM EDT2014-07-28 10:06:34 GMT
    Only final arguments and a ruling remain in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
    Only final arguments and a ruling remain in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
  • Aid Group: 2 Americans have Ebola in Liberia

    Aid Group: 2 Americans have Ebola in Liberia

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 09:54:54 GMT
    Two American aid workers have tested positive for the Ebola virus while working to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease at a hospital in Liberia, a relief group official said.
    Two American aid workers have tested positive for the Ebola virus while working to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease at a hospital in Liberia, a relief group official said.
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File