The former Eco Square and Buena Vista Apartments were taken over in November by new owners who renamed them Martin Park Apartments. Since then, tenants say it has been nothing but a nightmare.
“There are a lot of families living here and in the other place. There’s flooding, drainage issues, just livable conditions,” says Jordan Payne.
Payne says when the company first took over, they sent everyone letters introducing themselves, along with promises of updates and investment in properties.
The first 3 months they had no clerical or maintenance staff. Then in February, a new manager took over to put things in place.
“In the middle of this, their rent box is stolen. There are two places, one here (in the west) and one in the east. We put our rent back here by warrants or whatever, then it was moved to the other office and that office was the one that got robbed. Down and here at about the same time is when the old staff was heading for the door. Shortly after, there’s about a month we get notices at our door for a “pay or quit 10 days” that says we are behind such and such amount and we are not”
Payne says many tenants complained to management that they either couldn’t afford to pay the bill or weren’t going to. They were told to make an appointment with the property manager to discuss it. Others, paid for fear of being expelled.
“They won’t answer the phone, you go to their office on the east side and they’ll stand in the doorway and say go away, we’re in a meeting”
44News visited the rental office, the door was locked and a black sheet covered the window. Our phone calls were not returned either.
Residents because of their living conditions continue to deteriorate, but they cannot access maintenance or emergency maintenance to fix things. Many started using their own money to repair their units.
“Some people have to empty their sink water through their back door, inviting more rodents, pests and insects inside. We have a mouse problem. Right now mice can when they wish to pass through the bottom of our front door. We don’t live like that, we don’t want to live like that.”
The City of Evansville says the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Building Commission is involved. So far 6 units have been inspected resulting in quotes worth $7,000.
We will continue to follow this developing story.