Tenant withholding rent for poor living conditions
GLYNN - A tenant says her landlord is threatening to kick her out for not paying rent, but she says there's a reason she's not paying.
Katie Major and her daughters have been living in their Glynn rental home for almost six years. In May, their living conditions changed, when water started leaking from the ceiling, walls, and light fixtures. Major has found mold in the walls, on the floors, and in the ceiling. On July 11, she says a large piece of her ceiling fell exposing moldy insulation and drywall.
"I can't live here with three kids like this," said Major.
The mold is so bad, Major's been withholding her rent from June and July. She says it's because the situation isn't being fixed.
"I told them about it in June, I told them about it in July," she said. "I have messages between me and the landlord's sister."
Major says someone has been to the home to tear up the water-logged and buckling floors and fix her air conditioning unit, which she thinks started the whole mess. But she's unhappy with the lack of repairs and communication from her landlord, who happens to be New Roads Mayor Cornell Dukes.
"I kept calling them, they kept coming looking at it, the carpenter just kept coming, look, look, look, but nothing was ever done," she said. "I've been all over looking for him, I just wanted to sit down and talk to him and explain to him how I felt about the situation."
Her landlord doesn't seem happy she's not paying her monthly bill, which is why she was sent a letter in the mail by his lawyer. The letter is a formal notice to vacate the property in five days upon receipt for nonpayment of rent.
Friday afternoon, 2 On Your Side contacted attorney James Dewey, who agreed to contact Dukes regarding Major's living situation. He also agreed to withhold an eviction pending more research on the topic.
"I have no problem paying rent once it's fixed, but I just didn't feel like I should pay for June and July," said Major. "I hope any normal person would see why I haven't paid my rent."
Although 2 On Your Side did speak with the lawyer for Perpetual Properties, LLC, WBRZ did not get in touch with Dukes. Several messages were left and WBRZ is waiting for a response.
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