Outraged renters taking action - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Outraged renters taking action

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Every so often, we receive calls to our newsroom about tenants having problems with their landlords.

WDRB set out to find out exactly what rights renters have and found a pretty unsettling situation right here in Louisville.

Imagine living without running water or power.

That's what some people found themselves doing after they say their landlord quit paying the bills.

The tenants of a house on Hale Avenue say they've been without utilities for at least a week now.

One of the residents, Tracey Greene, warned our crew before taking them inside.

"He collected rent and we have no place to stay. The lights went off right after that," said Greene.

Flies swarm the residence, food is rotting in the refrigerator and windows are boarded up.

Some tenants are still living there because they have no where else to go.

"I'm not gonna stay here and I don't think it's healthy for anyone to stay here," said Greene.

Greene has been living there in one room with her two teenagers but they left this week after the conditions became unbearable.

She's waiting on code enforcement to come inspect.

"We don't even have smoke detectors here. Not one," she said.

Tenants are using the facilities but can't flush because there's no running water.

Some walls are even exposed.

A makeshift staircase lead our crew upstairs where walkways were hardly wide enough to get through.

Greene says the landlord won't return their calls.

"I texted him all day at work and I'm stressing not knowing where to go with my children. When you have people who are trying to get back on their feet with children, you don't take them for granted," she said.

Greene isn't the only one affected.

There are 6 rooms being rented in the house.

Most pay weekly and say all utilities are supposed to be included.

We found the ad for the house still on craigslist.

Our calls to the listing went unanswered.

John Bullock, another tenant, doesn't know where he's going to sleep.

"I had a place to live yesterday and today I don't," he said.

While he's looking for another place to live, he says he's also looking for justice.

"I want to be compensated and just to let him know he can't get away with this," said Bullock.

The Legal Aid Society says what's happening at the house is illegal.

"A landlord cannot shut off utilities. They have to provide electricity or access to it and they have to provide running water," said Stewart Pope, Advocacy Director of the Legal Aid Society in Louisville.

Code enforcement is going to inspect the property on Monday.

If you're having a similar problem, you're encouraged to seek help from the Legal Aid Society. Click here to visit their website.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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