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Tenants at Franklin apartment complex demand maintenance repairs

franklin place apartments
Posted at 7:02 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 19:42:02-05

JOHNSON COUNTY — Tenants of an apartment complex in Franklin are seeing their rents going up but their maintenance issues are not being addressed.

The Johnson County Health Department is aware of the issues at Franklin Place Apartments. In the past two years, the agency has received 12 complaints, mostly involving trash.

Tenants are hoping that by spotlighting these issues, they will get a resolution. Some are living with bare floors and out of boxes.

"We had a raw sewage flood in here five weeks ago," Darwin Standard said.

Standard's mother, Connie Dulik, has called the complex home for 21 years.

"I just have a passion to try to get this fixed out here," Dulik said.

WRTV reached out to Kittle Property Group and they said they are currently trying to hire maintenance workers to help solve this issue. Laurren Brown, with Kittle Property Group, responded with the following statement:

We are committed to our residents and being responsive. This year we have invested $176,000 in improvements to the property.

Below is a Q & A with Kittle Property Group's Laurren Brown:

1. What is the maintenance issue at Franklin Place? Are you aware of them and what’s the course of action? 

"It is our standard practice for properties that do not have full-time permanent employees in place that we retain contractors to perform work and remedy maintenance requests as they arise. That is true of Franklin Place. We have vendors in place to address HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and carpentry services as they arise. In terms of a permanent maintenance person, we are experiencing the same challenges with hiring as other companies right now. We are actively seeking a full-time maintenance employee and have recently increased the offered wage to attract more candidates. That said, a maintenance person would not have handled the sewer backup any differently than our manager did as a 3rd party plumbing company was necessary to handle the issue.

You mentioned trash during our call- We have a service contract with Ray’s Trash Service, and all receptacles are emptied multiple times per week. In addition, there is an ancillary ‘roll-off dumpster on the site due to the extreme amounts of trash and large furniture left in vacant apartments when people move out. A picture that we saw online is the result of just Saturday and Sunday of this week.

We have also heard complaints about the pool not being open for the last 2 years. The pool was not open in 2020, consistent with Johnson County safety protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and CDC guidance to landlords. The pool was not open in 2021, due to the backlog of county inspections requested for pools because of the 2020 closures from the covid-19 pandemic. We were inspected late in the season in 2021 and did not have sufficient time to schedule vendors to complete the opening of the pool."

2. What about the tenants waiting for carpeting?​ 

"As you mentioned, the pictures show the condition of the apartment on the date of the backup. The night it happened, the property manager acted promptly to engage a vendor to clear the blockage which had been backed up due to baby wipes and personal items, per what B&J pulled out to unclog (this could have been anyone in the building, not necessarily the person contacting you).

The very next day, another contractor was out to pull all wet and damaged drywall and carpet to prevent contamination or mildew/mold growth and make the apartment safe for the resident to be in. Since then, we have had contractors out working on drywall, etc. for the past couple of weeks getting this issue of the damage resolved. We have vinyl going into the apartments starting this Friday. After the vinyl has been placed, our contractors will be coming back in to finish up any other repairs.

We are aware that one apartment has missing flooring. This apartment belongs to an elderly resident who is unable to move her furniture, so we needed additional time to schedule a moving company so the new flooring could be installed.

If there is another resident in the same situation, we would extend the same courtesy but have not been notified of such."

Watch the video in the player above to see more of the tenants' conditions.