Who's to blame for plumbing problems in Charlotte apartment? Family having to move out
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The way Arnaldo Ardon tells it, about twice a day water comes into his apartment from the unit upstairs. It bubbles behind the washer and dryer then creeps out into the kitchen and living room, soaking the carpet.
"I feel powerless because I keep complaining and they're not doing anything about it."
Through a translator, Ardon said that he informed Charlotte's Code Enforcement office about problems in the apartment at Brook Valley Apartments. He says he also notified the complex management office about the flooding.
"I've been complaining about this for a while and their only solution is to evict me," he said. "All the water keeps coming into my apartment. I complained about the bathtub and the kitchen and everything and the office said I was complaining too much so they decided to evict me."
Ardon believes management is retaliating against him because he's been speaking out.
The manager of the complex said that the family is not being evicted.
The office says an outside plumbing company came to the unit and found wipes clogging the plumbing system.
The manager says plumbers told them it's not a building-wide problem, that the issue is happening only in the Ardon apartment so the wipes are likely being used there.
The manager says Ardon refused to pay the plumbing bill and said he was moving out.
Arnaldo Ardon says his family didn't use wipes.
In a city that is fast becoming a bigger rental market, what do tenants need to know about repairs in units?
What if the problems are not the fault of tenants?
"Then you've got the right to, after you've given the landlord notice, you have to right to deduct the repair amounts from your rent," said Robert Dawkins of Safe Coalition.
But, if a resident is responsible for damages, Dawkins says the complex management office "can ask you to pay for the repairs and they can use that as a justification not to renew your lease."
Dawkins says residents can also turn to tenant-landlord mediation to help solve disputes.
Back at Brook Valley Apartments, Arnaldo Ardon has a month to find a place where his family can live.
"I don't have a place to go. I don't have anywhere to go," he said. "I want to find a solution. I'm not finding any solutions so to tell you the truth I'm feeling impotent. I'm feeling powerless and sad because I don't know what to do now."
On Thursday, the City of Charlotte said Ardon would get assistance from Community Link in finding a new home. The family will stay at a hotel while the new arrangements are found. The City will also pay their security deposit, first month's rent, moving expenses, and storage for their personal items during their hotel stay.
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