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Renters' Rights: Tenant says his home is 'unlivable,' landlord refuses to fix repairs

Dale Mitchell pointing at a hole in his ceiling
Posted at 7:23 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 22:30:01-04

A falling ceiling, black mold and plywood covering holes — that’s what one family says they wake up to every morning. Despite paying rent on time every month, the landlord continues to ignore their cry for help.

Dale Everett has lived in Honey Creek Mobile Home Park for more than a year. He cares for his younger brother and his uncle who both have a mental health condition. His living conditions, however, are making it harder for him to care for his family. Now, he’s looking for help.

Mitchell says he pays $550 a month in rent.

“In my honest opinion, I don’t think the house is worth $550 under the condition it’s in,” he said.

Over the past year, Mitchell says it has gotten worse. He has reached out to his landlord for help dozens of times, but he says nothing ever gets fixed.

“We pay good money to have a nice home but we don’t have a nice home. We have a run-down home,” Mitchell said.

The state law requires landlords to maintain pipes and the structure of a building but it doesn’t specify what tenants can do if something doesn’t get fixed. However, Eric Hallett, housing advocate for Legal Aid, says tenants can file a report with the city. If a landlord is not maintaining the unit to the city’s code, they will do an investigation on whether the landlord is meeting municipal guidelines.

2 Works for Your spoke with the landlord about the concerns shared by many of his tenants but he did not want to comment.

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