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Health department encourages tenants to file complaints for change to happen

Posted at 10:34 AM, Oct 26, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — Every week, WRTV receives messages from renters who say they have tried to get their apartment complex to fix problems with no luck.

Most of the time, the problems involve HVAC and plumbing issues. Many times, along with either a sweltering or freezing apartment, mold is growing and causes the tenants health issues. That's the case for Macie Phelps.

"You basically can't sleep comfortably at night because you have asthma issues and then, because you're dealing with mold," Phelps said.

Water and ceiling material on apartment floor
Picture taken at Indie Artist Colony showing water and ceiling material on floor of an apartment

She has lived at Arborwood at Mann Road Apartments for nearly two years. Throughout that time, she says there have been other quality of life issues.

"My stove, it was almost a year without being able to use my stove. I was cooking in deep fryers and hot pots to try and cook. My refrigerator would go in and out. I don't know how much money I wasted in food," Phelps said.

Phelps shared her emails and other correspondence with management showing she asked for problems to be fixed. It didn't happen.

"There's always someone new in the office who doesn't know what's going on," Phelps said.

As mentioned earlier, this is a story WRTV hears a lot.

Another place we've highlighted with similar issues is the Indie Artist Colony in Downtown Indianapolis. Those who live there say water issues have caused ceilings to collapse, resulting in the electricity being turned off at times to deal with those plumbing problems.

After months of protesting and filing complaints, the situation at the complex will be resolved in court.

Court filing
HHCorop of Marion County is taking an apartment complex to court over code violations

The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County is taking Indie Artist Colony, LLC and Reverie Estates, LLC to court over 32 code violations. A spokesperson from HHCorp of Marion County released a statement saying in part, "court is used as a final step to achieve compliance of code violations."

However, it only came to this because tenants filed complaints. That's something the health department encourages everyone to do so problems can be on their radar.

For people like Phelps, hearing about court action being taken against an apartment complex gives her hope that the complaints she filed will help her and other people in similar situations.

"I want them to honor my lease. I want them to make right on the things I haven't had in this unit," Phelps said.

The owners of Phelps' apartment, Kittle Property Group, told WRTV they've had a hard time hiring people to do maintenance, which is a reason for all the backlogs and things not getting fixed. They say they're working hard to fill those positions.

Indie Artist Colony and Reverie Estates did not return a request for comment.