Renter claims landlord not making repairs, evicted Wednesday
DENHAM SPRINGS - A renter was evicted from her apartment Wednesday for withholding rent from her landlord.
Durante Converse tells 2 On Your Side she has good reason. There's mold growing in her apartment, in the air ducts, under the sinks and along the floorboards. After repeatedly asking her landlord to fix the issue, Converse says she didn't pay her rent.
"Why should the tenants have to pay if you're not keeping us in a healthy environment?" said Converse.
In August, the first floor of Converse's building flooded at Park Place Apartments off S. Range Ave in Denham Springs. It's since been gutted. Converse lives on the second floor and in October, she first noticed mold under her bathroom sink.
"I smelled it, she said. "It was a very strong smell that you could notice that it was mold."
Converse says after her landlord didn't do anything about the mold, she withheld two months rent. Her landlord took her to court and made a compromise to pay the rent if the mold was taken care of. She says she started making payments but the mold was not taken care of.
About a month ago, Converse says she noticed mold growing under her kitchen sink. She again requested the mold be taken care of and says it wasn't. Converse withheld her rent again on April 1 until the situation was mitigated.
"No one still has been here to fix it, as you can see," she said.
Maintenance gave her a solution to spray. The solution was sprayed in problem areas but Converse says the mold continues to grow.
Louisiana law says the landlord must maintain the property by making all necessary repairs. Wednesday, 2 On Your Side left messages with the complex manager but those calls were not returned. The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Service publishes a guide about landlord/tenant rights.
Converse tells 2 On Your Side she's moving into her mother-in-law's home. She's currently looking for a new apartment.