Chronic flooding, raw sewage, broken furnaces, holey ceilings, and black mold are just some of the conditions that tenants in a Kansas City apartment complex are living in.
Residents of the Nob Hill apartments say that if the living conditions weren’t bad enough, their landlord has even threatened to turn off their utilities. The apartment complex is owned by T.E.H. Realty, an out-of-state management company that has a less-than-stellar reputation. The company is famous for making the residents of their property live in squalor.
Federal agencies and city officials are trying to determine how to hold the property owner accountable for the substandard living conditions at multiple apartment complexes they own in Missouri and Kansas, including the Nob Hill apartments.
Tenants of Nob Hill apartments say that they have run out of options and that action taken against T.E.H. Realty can’t come soon enough.
Josh Hawley, a U.S. Senator from Missouri, has asked Ben Carson, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, to start a federal investigation. Hawley has also asked U.S. attorneys who serve both eastern and western Missouri to look into T.E.H. Realty.
The Missouri attorney general’s consumer protection division has also received complaints against the property management company. The Housing Authority of Kansas City and the Kansas City department of health have received complaints, too.
A lawsuit has been filed against T.E.H. Realty by the city of St. Louis after residents at the company’s properties filed complaints about the unsanitary and dangerous conditions that they are being forced to live in. The company has been put in receivership by Wyandotte County after a long list of complaints was filed against them.
Tara Raghuveer, the founder of KC Tenants, a tenants advocacy group, says that regulating out-of-state landlords must be at the top of Kansas City’s agenda.
“With these bad actors, it’s extremely difficult to hold them accountable,” Raghuveer said.
Kansas City does hold the power to take action against property owners who are negligent, but why haven’t officials of the city made use of all of the tools that are available to them?
Under the Healthy Homes initiative, officials of the health department are permitted to suspend or revoke the permits landlords possess to operate in the city if safe standards of living aren’t met.
The Nob Hill apartment complex is falling far below every measure concerning safe living conditions. Twenty-nine complaints have been filed with the health department regarding conditions at the Nob Hill complex. T.E.H. has responded to 22 of the 29 cases filed against them. Three of the cases are still pending.
Despite the complaints filed against them, T.E.H. Realty is still operations.
“It’s concerning, but we are limited in what we can do,” said Naser Jouhari of the city’s health department.
Mold Inspection & Testing Kansas City is a reputable mold testing company that has performed numerous assessments in properties throughout the city. We strongly recommend that Kansas City officials arrange to have mold testing performed at the Nob Hill apartment complex to confirm the unsafe conditions residents are living in. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 913.312.4577.