Saturday, January 2, 2010

D.C. Woman Says Her Apartment is Flooded, Moldy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A local woman says she has been living a nightmare ever since sewage and water has been leaking into her D.C. apartment.

Zlena Addison lives in a small garden-style unit off Livingston Road in Southeast Washington, and says her apartment has brought her to tears.

"I cry every night to the point I have to live like this," she said. Talkback:
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She also says she has to wear boots just to walk through her living room.

"It was like I was walking in duck water a pond," she said.

It all started when sewage and water began leaking into her apartment back in August. "Its just real nasty...just thinking about all the bacteria," she said. "I could really catch something by being in here.

First, she says, the leak caused the walls to turn brown. Then mold began to grow on the window seal and carpet.

Just recently the problem worsened when water pressure caused part of her bathroom ceiling to collapse. She says the building's management told her sewage and water on the roof is causing all the problems.

After several attempts to contact her landlord, D.C. firefighter Dean Smothers, she says he hasn't responded.

Resident Tanisha Scott says the building is crumbling under temporary patch work.

"If you're going to start..get the whole job done...instead of fixing part of the problem," Scott said.

We spoke with the the building's landlord Dean Smothers and he told a different story. He says its been only two weeks since he was first contacted by Addison's sister. Smothers says he sent crews to her home the same day and made temporary repairs until he can install new dry wall on Monday. The crews also removed the toilet from the apartment that was causing the sewage problems, he said.

Meanwhile, Addison says she had stopped paying her $750 rent. She says she will not resume payments until the problems are permanently fixed.

"Right now I don't think the place is fixable," Addison said.

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