Landlord's unpaid bill may force tenants out

Posted at 8:56 PM, Sep 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-09 21:56:34-04

People who live in a Raytown apartment complex may be forced to leave, and it's not their fault.

If the complex owner doesn't pay a long unpaid sewer bill by September 17, the water will be shut off and residents will be forced out.

Rosalind Toliver showed us a dead mouse on the first floor of her apartment building. It's far from her only problem.

Since she moved into the Amber Glenn Apartments in July, her issues have included a broken window, a break in, and then she received a letter informing her the water might be shut off.

"Especially if you pay $675 and water is included, like, what are you talking about," Toliver said.

As a courtesy to the residents, the city of Raytown sent a letter dated August 11, 2015 to 120 addresses at the complex. It states the complex owners have failed to fully pay their sewer bill since April 2014. As a result, the owners owe more than $42,000.

The letter also says if the balance isn't paid by September 17, the water will be shut off.

When asked what happens to the residents if the water is shut off, Raytown spokeswoman Brenda Gustafson said, "Residents have to leave by law."

"It's a case of bad management," said Amber Glenn Property Manager Jesse Davila.

Davila said when he started as property manager last month, he discovered money was missing and the complex was in disrepair. 41 Action News has been to the property twice this summer and found broken air conditioners, mold and other issues with the property.

There are currently work permits to repair the driveway and some decks which were currently not up to code. Davila said all issues are being addressed, including the sewer bill -- which the city has been unable to collect for nearly a year and a half.

When asked if she was skeptical the deadline might be met given that history, Gustafson said, "That's not for me to say. I really hope they do for the residents."

"No, the water is not going to be shut off because we're taking care of that ourselves," Davila said.

Davila was at City Hall Wednesday hoping to address the issue. He also had a worker remove the dead mouse Toliver showed 41 Action News.

But Toliver is unconvinced.

"We're moving, I mean, we're going to stay with a friend," she said.

Toliver said she's concerned for long-time residents who may not have other living options if the water is shut off.

The Amber Glenn owners are represented by a St. Louis attorney as their registered agent. That agent was unavailable for comment.