Tenant, Landlord At Odds Over Leaky Apartment

Sunday, March 11th 2012, 10:42 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma City woman says she's being mistreated by her landlord, but the apartment complex management says they are just following industry-wide protocol.

Michelle Dedmon was still trying to clean up Sunday afternoon after a hot water heater in the apartment above broke, sending water cascading into her apartment through the ceiling and walls. The water soaked the carpet in her apartment as well.

The pregnant nursing student at OCU says she has been sleeping on her couch in the living room as an industrial fan blows around the clock, slowly drying out the carpet in her bedroom.

"I have this fan that I turn on to help it kind of try and dry a little underneath," said Dedmon. "The smell, it smells like a wet towel, it stinks."

It has been three days since the leak started. Dedmon says she discovered the damage when she came home from work late Thursday night.

"It was coming down. When I walked in it sounded like it was raining in my apartment. So I flipped on the light was I was like, ‘What is that?' And I just seen like water coming down out of here."

A representative for the apartment complex acknowledged the inconvenience during a phone call with News 9. He said they were following standard protocol for the industry and it will be fixed.  He said a crew removed the padding under the carpet and sprayed the apartment with enzymes to prevent bacteria growth. Dedmon though doesn't think they are doing enough.

"That really upset me because I do know that they have other units available and they're not willing to give me one," she explained.

The apartment representative says they do not relocate tenants because of serious legal issues that could arise. He did not say specifically what those issues are.

So for the time being, Dedmon is still waiting.  She says she is confined to living in her living room and a closet until the apartment dries out.

"Why am I paying rent if I'm not able to use my apartment?" said Dedmon. "I'm pregnant. What am I supposed to do in between the time? How long is it going to take? You know? I don't have anywhere else to go."

The apartment representative tells News 9 the problem should be fixed early this week. He says it was an unfortunate and unpredictable event, but now they are just waiting for the apartment to dry.