A man is fed up with The Garden Courtyards apartment complex after he says his unit has flooded four times over the past three years.
Joseph Thibodeaux turned to News On 6 to see if we could help. He tells us that he’s legally blind and that the flooding isn’t creating only a health issue but a safety issue as well.
Thibodeaux claims the unit behind his continues to leak water into his apartment. He says it happened twice in 2017 and twice already this year; the first time was in February.
“It was just kinda ridiculous a little. I mean, you call three or four times and get no answer. It’s kinda frustrating,” Thibodeaux said.
His caretaker, Jennifer Bart, says she couldn’t believe when water started coming into the apartment again in April. Water could be seen on the bathroom floor, laundry room, kitchen, and pantry.
“It was even worse than February. It was just streaming out.”
They say the fire department, restoration crew, carpet cleaners, and maintenance have all been out on different occasions, but they claim nothing has been fixed.
“Every time I got into the office I’m not getting anywhere. She doesn’t think I’m telling the truth or she doesn’t even want to come out here and look at it,” Thibodeaux said.
The problem is now growing larger. They say there is black mold growing under the wood paneling in the kitchen, under the cabinets.
“We showed them the pictures, and they stopped everything and did not want to come in. All they said, 'my boss will be on the way' – never showed up, nothing,” Bart claims.
Joseph says the mold is starting to affect his health.
“I’m waking up with migraines, sore throat, coughing, wheezing and now it’s like my skin feels like I’m getting rashes," he said.
Thibodeaux says he would like to move to another apartment, but he tells us when he’s asked he’s been told there are no other one bedroom units for him to move to. He’s also been told if he wants to move that it’s the apartment’s policy to have him pay another deposit and application fee, something he doesn’t think is fair.
“This is an inconvenience for me,” he said.
“If they can fix it to where it’s not going to happen anymore then that would be great but if that’s not possible I think they should go ahead and move him,” Bart added.
News on 6 reached out to Wilhoit Properties, Inc. in Missouri. Rowe Shockley, the Executive VP of Property Management says we’re not getting the full story. He tells us earlier this month they were on hand within an hour of the flooding complaint.
“For us to be in their home within an hour of the time the incident occurred already extracting water and to have installed a fan and dehumidifier the same day is excellent service,” Shockley said.
He says Thibodeaux made a request to transfer to another unit for the “inconvenience” and instead of requesting for the same size unit he was asking for a larger apartment.
“We told him that we don’t transfer for inconvenience, but if he wanted to transfer he could come in and fill out the transfer paperwork.”
Shockley also says a request was made by Thibodeaux that he be notified first before anyone associated with the apartment complex enter his residence.
“We have repeatedly tried to reinspect the premises and he’s been completely unresponsive,” Stockley added.
“We were right on top of it. He has not answered his door, he has not responded to phone calls and again we are respecting his wishes but at the same time I’m not sure frankly what his motive is either, but we’re trying to help.”
Thibodeaux responded to the comments by Shockley saying that his claims are not accurate. He says, to his knowledge, no one has been by his apartment or left a note and he says he has no missed phone calls from the main office or from the corporate office.
Thibodeaux says a person with a restoration company came by this afternoon before 5 p.m. but he says they didn’t fix anything or offer a solution.