Landlord says basketball prep school players trashed house - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Landlord says basketball prep school players trashed house

Morris Hania, who owns the own and rents it to Hillcrest, says the students caused thousands of dollars in damage. (Source: CBS 5) Morris Hania, who owns the own and rents it to Hillcrest, says the students caused thousands of dollars in damage. (Source: CBS 5)
Hania showed CBS 5 Investigates where someone had kicked holes in the walls. (Source: CBS 5) Hania showed CBS 5 Investigates where someone had kicked holes in the walls. (Source: CBS 5)
The interior of the home could be best described as filthy. (Source: CBS 5) The interior of the home could be best described as filthy. (Source: CBS 5)
He says he had to cut down five mature trees at the home because the Hillcrest students or staff failed to water them and they died. (Source: CBS 5) He says he had to cut down five mature trees at the home because the Hillcrest students or staff failed to water them and they died. (Source: CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The owner of a home that a prestigious Valley basketball prep school used as a dorm says the students caused thousands of dollars in damage to the property.

"The actual repairs would cost approximately $8,000 to $9,000, just to get the house back in the shape it was before they moved in," said Morris Hania, who owns the home.

Hania showed CBS 5 Investigates where someone had kicked holes in the walls, holes in the doors, ripped up the flooring, removed windows, and broke tiles on the kitchen counter. The interior of the home could be best described as filthy.

"It was in excellent condition. I spent about $12,000 redoing this house, getting it ready for sale," said Hania. But he ended up turning the home into a rental and leasing it to Hillcrest.

CBS 5 Investigates had received complaints from some parents and students about the condition of the interior of the home during the past year. They alleged that between 12 and 15 students were living in the home, that the conditions were dirty and that there was a cockroach problem.

[READ MORE: Some parents, students complain about living conditions at prep school]

"He wasn't eating properly and he was in an environment that was filthy and disgusting and overrun with cockroaches," said Michelle Dumas, whose son Xavier attended Hillcrest last fall. 

"These are 18, 19-year-old boys and they can have a house just destroyed - pizza boxes out. Whenever I get a complaint, within 24 hours, we address that complaint," said Matt Allen, who is the director of Hillcrest Prep, during an interview last week.

[RELATED: Top high school players choosing controversial basketball 'prep' schools]

On Tuesday, Allen sent CBS 5 Investigates a statement that reads, "We stayed in that house for two years and had normal wear and tear and stuff did fall apart because the house is older. Not saying the kids were the easiest and most gentle on everything, but our deposit covered anything that was wrong."

[READ MORE: Players, parents say Phoenix HS basketball powerhouse let them down]

Hania disagrees that the damage to the home was the result of normal wear and tear.

He says he had to cut down five mature trees at the home because the Hillcrest students or staff failed to water them and they died. According to an invoice Hania provided to CBS 5 Investigates, the cost to the replace the trees exceeds $30,000.

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Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award, and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. In October 2016, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School at Purdue University Global. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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