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Family says landlord won’t fix problems at collapsing home

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Memphis family says their rental home is crumbling and collapsing, and their landlord won't fix the problems.

Timothy Robertson and his fiancee, Brandie Redden, reached out to WREG for help. They say the property manager refuses to make repairs on the home, and has ordered them to get out if they don't feel safe.

The couple and their three kids moved into the house on Leath Street six months ago, and admit they knew it needed some work.

"But we were hoping to maybe be able to buy the house down the road and fix it up for our family house," Robertson said.

But within a few months, they say they noticed the house collapsing around them.

It began with cracks and huge gaps appearing in the walls, then floors started shifting and sinking in.

"When the whole kitchen floor shifted, we were all screaming and crying – me and all the kids," Redden said.

“Now the kids are actually afraid to sit on the toilet because they don’t know if they’re gonna fall through the floor," Robertson said.

One day while their kids were playing, they say a huge chunk of wood filled with nails fell from a door frame.

“It popped off and almost hit one of the kids in the head," Robertson said.

Windows have also seemingly cracked from the pressure, and even the gas line in the kitchen started to bend.

“That’s all I need is a gas line explosion," Robertson said.

And that’s just inside.

“I crawled up under the house, and that’s when I seen the floor joints were off their foundation," he said.

For months, the couple says they went back and forth with the landlord, Lubin Property Management, trying to get the problems fixed, but their complaints were ignored.

“Nothing. They never responded back to any of the texts that I had sent with the photographs of the damage," Robertson said. "The messages that we did get back were pretty much blowing us off.”

Then finally in January, a maintenance worker checked out the house, and wrote in his work order:

“The whole entire back side of the house is about to collapse... And their tub is about to sink to the floor.”

But nearly three weeks later, the repairs still hadn't been made, and the couple got an email from Lubin Property Management saying:

"I wish this was something that could be fixed easily but I’m afraid it will not. Because you don’t feel safe I need you guys to vacate the house immediately.”

But they say it's not that easy.

“We don’t know what to do and we’re trying to protect the kids, but we have nowhere else to go," Robertson said.

Landlord Ryan Lubin declined an on-camera interview, but told WREG over the phone, “I don’t see anything wrong, personally. It’s an older house, but what we want to do is obviously accommodate them in any way. If they do not feel comfortable, we told them please move immediately."

He also said that they called a professional company to look at the foundation of the house, and told the family, "We’d do anything and everything we could to get them moved somewhere."

But the family tells WREG Lubin Property Management gave them the runaround, didn't help them find a new rental home and refused to return their $825 security deposit.

Lubin told WREG Sunday that his company never refused to give the family their security deposit back.

“Not true at all," he said.

Lubin added that he's more than willing to do so.

“Absolutely," he said. "We told them we’d give them anything they wanted."

The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but 10 complaints within the last three years, ranging from plumbing problems, rotting wood, leaky roofs and collapsing floors to rats, mildew, ignored maintenance requests and billing mishaps.

Yelp shows five negative reviews for the business and a one-star rating.

But on Lubin Property Management’s website, you'll only find dozens of positive reviews with four- and five-star ratings.

At this point, the family says they just want the issues taken care of.

“I just want them to actually fix the house. Do what they’re supposed to do as a landlord," Robertson said.

Or to get their money back and be moved to another house.

“Give us all our money back from the past six months, because where is our money going towards the house?” Redden said.

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