Problem Solvers expose mold and management issues at Hickory Hill apartments

Problem Solvers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Armittie Rounds has cancer and just recovered from COVID-19, but now she’s facing a problem inside her apartment so bad it forced her to move into her car.

“I had severe mold in here,” Rounds said. “It was very severe, I had to leave.”

She reported it to management at The Local in Hickory Hill. She says they came over and painted, but didn’t cut it out.

That’s when she moved into her car and called Memphis Code Enforcement.

She said Code Enforcement’s response finally prompted management at the complex to replace the spot on the wall. But she still felt like her unit had issues.

The mold kept coming right back out, she said.

She’s also upset she paid full rent, even though couldn’t stay in her place.

“They should be able to take something off my rent. I shouldn’t have to pay all that. These are their problems they should have fixed,” Rounds said.

She called the WREG Problem Solvers. We obtained documents showing other recent code enforcement actions against the complex — around eight in the last five years. Inspectors found damages, and a court document shows another case went to court this September.

We went to The Local’s leasing office, leaving our camera outside, to find out what was going on.

The person inside said corporate would call back. No one called after two days, so we called the leasing office again. The same woman answered and immediately hung up the phone three times in a row. So the Problem Solvers went straight to Local’s management company, Unified Residential, and called regional director Tamla Williams.

Williams said her company just took over the complex in 2019, changing the name to “The Local” from “Cinnamon Trails,” which is the name listed on earlier code violations.

Williams agreed to meet our crew at The Local on the condition she wouldn’t be on camera. That’s how we found out the property manager at The Local had not presented the entire case.

“She did not know about the pictures because her employee at the front desk did not mention them to her,” Rounds said. “The employee at the front desk was not truthful with a lot of things.”

Williams, the regional director, said she’d never seen the images of mold in Rounds’ apartment, nor did she know code enforcement had come.

As a result, she agreed to credit Rounds’ account for three weeks’ worth of rent — more than $400 — for the time when her unit was unsafe.

“Thank you so much. You solved it,” Rounds said. ” You completely solved my issue.”

Rounds said she is sorry the situation got this far, but glad she spoke up.

“If anyone is living in a situation like that, please don’t be scared to reach out to somebody,” she said.

If you have a problem you need solved with the help of WREG’s Problem Solvers, email Stacy at stacy.jacobson@wreg.com.

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