Woman’s rental home is in disrepair, code enforcement issues violation

Updated: Oct. 23, 2020 at 6:38 PM EDT
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KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WBTV) - Exposed wires, broken floors and holes in the wall - these are just a few of the problems one Kings Mountain mother is dealing with tonight.

The woman claims she has been asking her landlord to fix the problems for months. After getting no results, she contacted WBTV Investigates for help.

“My 6-year-old son won’t even come see me, because he’s scared to take a shower in the shower,” said Kayla Houser.

She started renting this home in Kings Mountain in June.

“I noticed when I moved in the pipes that were hanging in the back of the home, which is unsanitary plumbing. We have mold in the ceiling, holes in the wall that we were told to put duct tape over the holes.”

Though the ceiling hasn’t been tested for mold, Houser says you can see what appears to be possible markings as well as numerous issues in the kitchen to the bathroom.

Houser says she contacted her landlords with Kingdom Properties, LLC, right away.

“The month that we moved in, I started telling her then, ‘hey I need to start talking with you about the house, can we meet up?’ I said it’s nothing bad, it’s stuff we can work on and talk about.”

Houser says the landlords never came out to fix the problems. Instead, in October, she says a “for sale” sign went up outside her home.

“Now I’m having to uproot my family after these five months and move forward somewhere else without having any knowledge that they were going to put the home up for sale - that this was going to happen.”

Houser contacted the city of Kings Mountain and a code enforcement officer inspected the home on October 13th and issued a violation notice. The violation notice listed 8 items that were not in compliance with the housing code including “unsanitary plumbing conditions” and “missing window panes.”

The notice also said the problems should be corrected by October 21, 2020.

Kings Mountain City Manager Marilyn Sellers confirmed for WBTV Investigates that a violation notice was given and indicated the tenant would be charged if she doesn’t vacate the property and the landlord would be charged if they try to rent the home before it was repaired.

“You know, it’s hard for a family of six just to up and go in seven days, you know, it’s hard, but we’re going to do it.”

WBTV again contacted the landlord to see what is being done to fix the code enforcement department’s violations and to help Houser. The landlord says she is not able to provide a statement until next week. However, after our calls, Houser confirmed the landlord is finally willing to return her $700 deposit.

Tom Bartholomy with the Better Business Bureau says, always get any concerns in writing before you move in. If the landlord agrees and doesn’t follow up, you can take them to small claims court.

“Before you sign a lease, you get the property manager, the landlord, whomever, and have them walk through the apartment with you and you can each check off - well this window’s cracked or this carpeting is torn, or this faucet is leaking,” said Tom Bartholomy.

“It’s sad, sad," said Houser. "I’m having to watch my children go through this, me and fiancé go through this, it’s a lot.”

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