Living with a hole in the roof for ten months
In the spring of 2015 my now husband started working as maintenance and rehab for RV Horizons. He moved from Bloomington, IL to Decatur, IL for the position. In the fall of 2016 we moved into a home that was just moved into the community he worked in. It was a 2007 with 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths and would accommodate our large family for 700.00 per month in rent and no option to purchase.
My husband worked very hard to rehab this home which included new paint, padding and carpets, flooring and patching holes in the ceilings. The community managers hired an ex-employee to build the front and back decks, which he unfortunately built using drywall screws.
We signed our lease on October 28, 2016 but because there was no electricity due to it not being finished for inspection we could not stay there until November 2, 2016. When we moved in we were told the electricity still wasn’t complete and we couldn’t run major appliances at the same time. Additionally, the trench where electric lines ran into the home couldn’t be filled in until final inspection was complete. We also knew moving in that there was a hole over the back door that went all the way through to the inside just above the back door, but we were assured by the property manager then that it would be fixed.
We were patient with these issues, and would ask when we paid our rent if they’d gotten approval for the roof/ceiling to be repaired. At that time I was informed that they had a local company approved, but that he was too expensive so the roof wouldn’t be repaired yet. As we waited water leaked through the hole into our home, next to the breaker box just inside our master bedroom and washed ants out of the wall. As January approached and it was cold we found another problem. Our master bath tub was cracked and caused water to freeze in the drain causing, the tub to back up.
The first week of January the hole in our backyard was still not filled in leaving the electric lines running into the home were still exposed, and our roof was still leaking from the hole. The first week of January a contractor came and looked at it and again nothing happened. Later that month the property manager left our community and returned to their prior position in Michigan, and left us fending for ourselves with repairs that needed to be done. The new property manager was an employee of RV Horizons who had previously been the property manager and maintenance worker, he tried to get these repairs completed with no luck.
In May of 2017 this manager was demoted to maintenance and a new property manager was brought in, and with her a bunch of changes. At this point none of the repairs had been made to our rental home, my husband asked the new manager about the repairs and still nothing happened. In June on 2017 we still hadn’t had our roof fixed or the hole filled in, and it was now getting very hot outside and our central ac unit still sat in the maintenance garage waiting to be installed. I came home for lunch one afternoon and noticed the thermostat read 93 and my kids where outside playing board games at our patio table because it was cooler out there. My husband was upset about this because a neighbor who purchased her home was getting her air unit put in, and was also given a window unit until the central unit was installed.
I called the office and had a conversation with the property manager asking why we weren’t given a window unit or why the other resident got her ac unit in before we did when she owned her home and we were renting. I was told that she was a resident and we were employees so our repairs did not take precedent over the residents. I was very upset by this response and told her “we pay 700.00 per month to live in this s!#% hole and I’m a resident just the same,”. Throughout the conversation the manager kept referring to me and my girls as employees, and felt it necessary to discuss my husband’s employment with RV Horizons. I felt this was inappropriate, and told her that it wasn’t of my worry if he quit his job or not.
I finally got fed up with her not wanting to address the many issues with my home and told her I’m not an employee I’m a f#%&$!: resident and would like to be treated the same as the other residents. She hung up on me saying I was vulgar with her. The following day she asked my husband how old I was and if I was going through menopause.
Following my conversation with the property manager I called corporate to talk to them about the same issues. A few days after my conversation the ac unit was installed but the other repairs were still not completed. I called corporate once a week for the next month without any results.
Finally, on July 11, 2017 I called the city of Decatur about the hole in our roof and trench in our backyard that had now been there for 10 months. The city employee said to me 2 things I’ll never forget, first that he couldn’t help me because our home is not on a permanent foundation, and second he said “congratulations, you probably just got your husband fired,”. The very next day was very hot and my husband worked all day rehabbing a home with no AC. Around 4:30 he found a bedbug on him and told the property manager and she allowed him to go change and get clean clothes. Right after that she told him she had to let him go because his license is suspended and he violated his handbook by not having a valid driver’s license. His license has driving restrictions due to his type 1 diabetes.
The day after they fired him they filled in the hole in the back yard and 2 weeks after they fixed the hole in the roof, but still didn’t fix the mold it had caused or the hole on the inside. In mid-July the property manager asked my husband when we were going to pay rent, and again he told her we would pay when the mold in the home was cleaned. A few days later around the 15th of July a process server showed up and gave us a 5-day notice. We took it to court with evidence of repairs that had not been completed, but the property manager lied under oath and was able to get the eviction. We appealed and again we had evidence and again she lied under oath and the eviction stood. We lived in a hotel for 2 and half weeks, a positive of this was that I noticed my asthma got better now that we weren’t living with mold.