DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – From leaky ceilings to a large amount of trash piling up at the dumpster, tenants who live at an apartment complex in south Durham are calling for more to be done to improve living conditions in their units.
Kylee-Rhiannon Austin has lived at Triangle Place apartments off of Cornwallis Road in her current apartment unit for more than a year. Austin said she’s had issues with water leaking in her apartment, as well as problems with roaches, gnats, and fruit flies in her unit.
“We have a lot of water damage,” Austin said.
Austin said she is not sure where the water leak is coming from, but it has been hard for her to keep her carpet dry in some places.
“When you walk on the carpet, it sounds like a marsh,” Austin said as she walked on her wet carpet. “All of this is absolutely soaked, you can see the water coming up around my foot as I walk.”
Austin also has water damage in her utility room where her hot water heater is, and there is black mold forming in the bathroom.
But she said another big concern, is that gnats and fruit flies are getting into her refrigerator.
“We have lost so many groceries, including those in the fridge to these bugs,” Austin said.
Austin also has a large mountain of trash forming at the dumpster that she said has been a concern for weeks.
“It’s a safety and health concern,” Austin said. “It smells awful, and there are buildings right next to that dumpster. Children ride their bikes through there.”
And Austin is not alone in her concerns.
CBS 17 also spoke to her neighbor, Heather Heffner, who has damage on her ceiling from a water leak.
She said she is concerned her ceiling could collapse and she said she cannot get the apartment complex to do the necessary repairs.
“It’s scary, it’s a health hazard, and it goes against the landlord-tenant laws,” Heffner said.
CBS 17 reached out to the apartment complex’s corporate office, Harbor Group Management, about the concerns of the tenants.
Within hours after we reached out to them, a third-party garbage collection vendor showed up to assist with picking up the trash at the dumpster.
Officials with Harbor Group Management said they “apologize for the inconvenience” and the scene was the result of “missed collections by a waste disposal vendor” that led to an “unacceptable amount of garbage” piling up around the compactor.
The management company also said they care deeply about the health and safety of the residents.
As for the other concerns about bugs and the water leaks that Austin and Heffner shared with CBS 17, officials with Harbor Group Management said they will quickly respond to any repairs requested by tenants at the complex.
But some neighbors told CBS 17 they think more needs to be done.
“It really stinks to have to relocate just because they’re not taking care of what they’re legally supposed to,” Austin said. “If we just move out instead of making our voices heard, nobody in the complex is going to get help.”
Durham City Council has had discussions about creating a Tenant’s Bill of Rights for a year.
A committee has recently been formed to further discuss the topic. CBS 17 reached out to the city for an update on when a Tenants’ Bill of Rights might be approved, but we are still waiting to hear back.