Tenants withholding rent due to maintenance problems face eviction

Tenants face eviction for withholding rent due to maintenance issues

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Shakeila Robertson lives in the Serenity Apartments on Ardenwood Drive.

She says for nearly five months, she’s had to put in a work order almost every two weeks. Robertson says she has been dealing with leaks that have damaged the walls and left foul odors in the carpet.

Her daughters have complained about pest they see strolling through the apartment. Now she and other tenants have decided to hold their rent.

“I feel like if we pay our rent, then we should stay somewhere comfortable. It’s not right, and we are not on section 8; we are paying this out of our pocket. Everybody back here I done talked, to they doing this; we don’t know what else to do,” Robertson said.

Now those tenants face possible eviction. We tracked down one of the owners who was on the property who refused to speak with us. Robertson says she believes they have run out of options.

“Somebody needs to talk to these managers and let them know, if y’all want people to pay they rent, then y’all got to fix what’s going on up in here,” said Robertson.

To legally withhold rent, they must show they are using the money to make repairs on their own.

The owner has reached out to tenants to make arraignments on maintenance.

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