Phoenix couple dealing with flooded apartment

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 20:02:46-05

A Phoenix couple is cleaning up a soggy mess in their kitchen after a pipe burst in the unit upstairs.

"I stared crying because after dealing with this stress for so long, I just finally broke down. I was like, this is where my kids live," Ashlee Haab said.

Haab has lived in the Biltmore on the Lakes apartment complex in Phoenix for a few months.
She said management only fixed the problem after she repeatedly asked for help. She also said that this is only a part of ongoing issues at the complex, including not having heat for one week in December.

The water ruined food in the cabinet and created bubbling in the floor.

"They said they were going to fix that by lifting [the floor] up and letting it air out, and just putting it down," Haab said.

She said the problems started off small. First, appliances stopped working, and then there were roach infestations.

Now the residents want out, but they said the apartment policy is to provide two months’ rent to break the lease—a cost she can't afford.

"We can barely get by right now," Haab said.

Ken Volk is an advocate with the Arizona Tenants Organization. He said residents have many options in certain situations, like with flooding in an apartment.

"There's the court ordering them to fix it, there's the termination of the tenancy, or the reduction in the rent," Volk said, listing some of the options.

He said he's helped several tenants break their lease at this particular complex because of multiple problems.

"Plumbing and sanitary type issues. The previous tenant we dealt with at this apartment complex had bed bug issues," Volk said.

We reached out to the apartment manager at Biltmore on the Lakes. She said she had to put us in contact with the appropriate person, but ABC15 has not received a call back yet.

The City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department also looks into certain complaints.

They are offering a Landlord/Tenant workshop on Jan. 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix.