Tenants say conditions are unfit in Maryville apartment complex

Tenants say conditions are unfit in Maryville apartment complex

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Judy Niece intentionally didn't clean up the dead bugs so 6 On Your Side could see how numerous they are. Judy Niece intentionally didn't clean up the dead bugs so 6 On Your Side could see how numerous they are.
The wood under the threshold at Judy's front door is rotten and loose. The wood under the threshold at Judy's front door is rotten and loose.
Sean Mink says he told his landlord about the hole in their kitchen ceiling months ago. Sean Mink says he told his landlord about the hole in their kitchen ceiling months ago.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Some residents at a Maryville apartment complex say conditions in their units are terrible. They've complained to management about bugs, rats, and mold, but they say little gets done.

Tennessee has a clearly worded landlord tenant act that states landlords are required to provide a healthy and safe environment for their tenants.

At Foothills Crossing Apartments, bugs have infested Judy Niece's apartment. They crawl on her living room floor, scurry on her kitchen cabinets and live in the bedroom.

Judy intentionally didn't clean up the dead bugs so 6 On Your Side could see how numerous they are.

"That's what I have to live with," Judy said as she opened a cabinet door. "The more I clean, the more they come."

She says she's been fighting the bugs, "Ever since we've been here."

That's been about a year, and she does try to exterminate them. "I got that because it is a disinfectant, and it will keep it clean. But the more I clean, I get up the next morning and they're right back."

Howard Perry lives in the apartment with Judy. He says the bugs, "get in my bed at night, I can't sleep. They bite me all the time."

Howard has a scar on his arm from a bite that's been slow to heal.

Kevin Brown recently moved into the complex. "Well when it rains, it gets wet under my bed, a big puddle of stinky water that soaks into the carpet."

Nicole Kaylor says her baby was sick for weeks.

Before they moved out of their apartment, they talked with their landlord. "I told him there were rats in there. One was right at my daughter's face," said former resident Edward Massengill. "He said Walmart makes stuff to kill them with."

The wood under the threshold at Judy Niece's front door is rotten and loose. It's likely serving as a roadway for bugs entering her apartment.

She says, "It is terrible" living in these conditions. "I don't know who to call to get help."

6 On Your Side contacted the city of Maryville. Officials plan to send a team to the apartment complex.

Under the state's landlord tenant act, they'll check whether all repairs have been made to keep the apartments in a fit and habitable condition. They'll also check whether the apartments comply with codes affecting the occupants' health.

Sean Mink says he told his landlord about the hole in their kitchen ceiling months ago, but it's never been fixed. "It's this big and it pours constantly."

"Do you have bugs in your house?" I asked Ashley Mink. "All the time," she said. "They pour out of the leak in the kitchen and they swarm in the kitchen."

6 On Your Side went to the manager's office. Bill Irwin is the landlord. He says he make repairs himself in each apartment.

We told him about the hole in the ceiling at Sean Mink's unit. "Don, I fix everything when it's brought to my attention," Irwin said.

Irwin also said he was unaware of bugs in Howard Perry's apartment.

Howard says when he talks to the landlord, "He says we have no bugs down here."

A distraught Judy Niece says she hopes she gets help soon. "We're trying to get some money to get out. I can't stay here. He can't stay here because of these bugs."

The city of Maryville has adopted some of the language of the landlord tenant act in its own set of municipal codes

Maryville rules say landlords should comply with codes that affect residents' health and safety, should make repairs to units and should do what's necessary to keep units in fit condition.

Residents say they're pessimistic about getting anything done. Some say they've been threatened with eviction for speaking out.


If you have a consumer issue call our 6 On Your Side Hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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