12 On Your Side: Tenants angered over maintenance issues at Augusta apartment complex


News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, July 25, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "This is what I do every day," said Sabrina Waltower as she plunges her toilet to prevent it from overflowing. "The toilets, the sinks. The sinks stopped up. The sinks stopped up, everything's stopped up."

She says her complaints to Brandywine Townhomes management have been ignored since she moved in five months ago. She says whenever and wherever she uses water it ends up on her living room floor.

"Everything from out the toilets. If I use the dishwasher, it comes up. It looks like the stuff from out the toilet," Waltower said.

News 12 was there as code enforcement went door to door inspecting apartments. Inspectors snapped photos and took notes on what they found -- loose stairwell railings, moldy ceilings a backed-up sink and other issues.

"What we are finding there are roof leaks on the property. Some plumbing leaks and some of the AC units were not working," said Pam Costabile with code enforcement.

Costabile says they have contacted the owner concerning the problems.

News 12 wanted to know why it took so long for action to be taken. We attempted to speak on camera with Vanessa Eldridge who manages the property but she asked that we turn our cameras off. She did tell us off camera that she is part of a new management that has taken over the complex recently and is working to catch up on some work orders left undone.

Costabile says there are examples when issues have gone unresolved that require code enforcement.

"If you're having an issue where you cannot use the restroom, then we need to get out there immediately," Costabile said.

As for Waltower, she says she wants a place she can feel comfortable in.

"I can't call it home. It's not a home."

We spoke to Waltower this morning and she says the plumbers were fixing the problem.

So what can you do if you're having a problem with your apartment?

First, be sure you've reported the issue to your landlord or property management. If it's a minor problem, allow them adequate time to fix it.

If it's a more serious problem like flooding, electrical hazards or possible mold, those problems should be fixed quickly.

And if your landlord fails to address the more serious issues, you can contact your city or county code enforcement division. In Augusta, that number is (706) 312-5049.

To speed up the process, they may ask you to send pictures that show the problem.


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