The 12 News Defenders continue to uncover long standing problems at a Montgomery apartment complex. Now, a former property manager provides documentation of recurring raw sewage, mold and mildew issues at the Green Meadow Apartment Homes.
The former property manager claims upper management of the complex simply turned a blind eye. We broke this investigation Tuesday and since then, numerous tenants have shared their struggles and showed the deplorable conditions they were living in.
After only five weeks of employment with Merion Realty, the managing company overseeing Green Meadow Apartment Homes and Courtyard at Garden Glen Apartments, Nikole Pearson collected a huge stack of documents.
"These are [all] complaints, concerns and issues. Twenty-five units are off line; down because they are uninhabitable for raw sewage, black mold, electrical issues. I mean down! And people having fires in their apartments because we have sparking plugs and microwaves catching on fire and feces, and I'm not OK with that when there is something we can do about it," Merion Realty Montgomery Regional Manager Nikole Pearson said.
From November 1st to December 19th of 2012, Pearson served as the Montgomery Regional Manager for both apartment complexes.
"Upper management just bullied them. And it was just pay your rent and do your job as we dictate to you and don't ask any questions," Pearson explained. "It was so mind boggling that I'm talking to upper management saying, "Hey listen, these things are going on what are you guys going to do about it?" I had put in a letter of resignation. It was nothing left I could do," Pearson said.
She says she's never witnessed such deplorable conditions during her 17 years of being in the housing industry.
"The owner of Merion Realty, as well as the people that is under him are aware, but it's not in budget to handle that right now. We're going to handle this and we need to collect our monies, and these people are living in raw sewage. I've never worked for a slumlord," Pearson said.
There are documents showing failed reinspection reports in November and upper management authorizing tenants to live in the units. There's also illegal evictions related to the unresolved maintenance repairs in December and email correspondence between upper management trying to cover it up.
"[Upper management] Don't care about the residents, sweep it under the rug, but it in a nice, neat little bag, tie it up put it in the closet for later. Well they need to go in those units and sweep up all that poop in those people's units, tie those in nice, neat little bags, sanitize those units and make sure they have adequate housing." Pearson said.
Since local management has not responded, WSFA 12 News reporter Tametria Conner contacted the corporate office of Merion Realty. She spoke with former vice president for the Montgomery region, Melissa Daughtery, who was named in some of the documents and is now over the Mobile region.
Daughtery simply said, "We acted responsibly with everything we were aware of." She directed Tametria to e-mail the current Vice President for the Montgomery region. A response from that official has not yet been received.
City inspectors plan to visit the Green Meadow this Monday to check on progress. Managers at the complex have until Wednesday to get rid of those raw sewage issues or face legal action.
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