Put rent in escrow over problem, don't refuse to pay

By Mika Highsmith - bio | email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Dawn Bland can't live inside her apartment. "It's a mess," she said.

In fact, we shouldn't even be going in here. "There was water leaking through. They said it was coming from the roof," Bland tells us.

She says she's been complaining for months, hoping to prevent further damage. "They rebuilt the wall three times," she said.

Her fears came crashing down on her last week when the ceiling caved in. It was right on top of a pre-existing problem that's been growing since the moisture began. "It's a mushroom growing out of the carpet. It's a fungus," she points out.

Obviously, it's no way to be living with four kids. She says she's had mushroom and mold growing all over the place for eight months. She told management numerous times, she says.

But here's where she went wrong. Bland took it upon herself not to pay rent. I did not pay for April because I had to find another place to live."

Management says the problem has been ongoing. They've been fixing it, but the problem kept resurfacing. So they moved her to a unit across the hall.

Bland didn't take the proper avenue for action, so she's being evicted. She'll soon be on her way out, but hopes others learn from her mistake."I shouldn't have refused to pay the rent. I should have put it in escrow," says Bland, "I know that now. I didn't know it before."

If you're having a problem with your apartment management, don't stop paying rent. Put it in escrow by contacting municipal court. You don't want to end up paying for someone else's mistake.

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