Tenants upset over moldy northwest Houston apartment units


by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News


Posted on October 26, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 27 at 12:00 AM

HOUSTON—An apartment complex infested with mold and mildew has angry residents blaming, not just the landlords, but city officials as well.

“There’s so much mold and mildew inside this apartment,” said Charles Warren as he walked through his second floor unit at the Pines at Northwest Crossing Apartments in northwest Houston.

He said the unit’s roof is riddled with holes.

“It’s embarrassing to even have company,” he added.  “When it rains, I have to line my floor with buckets.”

Warren’s neighbors shared similar complaints.

Hanniffa Allen said her ceiling also leaks, and blamed the landlords for ignoring her complaints.

“If you care about your property, you’re going to fix it,” said Allen.  “They’re not fixing it.”

Houston’s code enforcement inspectors have cited the property numerous times for various violations, but in April they declared the place fit for occupancy.

The owners live in Los Angeles.

One of their representatives said they’re working hard to make the needed repairs but blamed the poor economy for setting the company back.

He said they’re trying to come up with a million dollars, the amount of money it will take to fix what’s wrong.

Recently, city inspectors cited the property again, ordering repairs to the leaky roofs.

The action comes too late to appease a former tenant, who said he moved out of his apartment when doctors discovered mold in his baby’s lungs.

“It was bad,” said Jimmy Guajardo.  “Actually, I stopped paying the rent after that happened to my son.  I said, I’m not paying the rent anymore.”

Unless conditions improve soon, some current tenants said they might also stop paying rent.

“We pay our rent on time but we never get anything accomplished,” added Warren.  “We never get anything done.”