Sometimes it takes a reporter’s phone call to the city to make a landlord take notice. The Hawthorne Apartments in Montrose had a fire in August first. Since then, there has been no electricity, and therefore, no air conditioning. With triple-digit temperatures, the inside of some units was just as hot as the outside.
Residents say they turned to Fox 26 after they say the landlord, NB Elite, has refused to relocate them, or refund their rent. The excuse the landlord gave them for the two week delay in any repairs, they say, was a wait for city permits.
“He’s a slumlord. That’s what he is. He’s a slumlord who drives a 100 thousand dollar car but he’s a minimalist when it comes to repairs,” said one angry resident.
Fox 26 called the city of Houston on Friday. Within two hours, enforcement staff came out, and put "notice to vacate" stickers on every door.
The building was shut down, giving NB Elite no choice but to help its residents. And as for those delayed permits that were supposedly holding up repairs, The city says NB Elite was offered "fast-tracked permits," and didn't want them, because it wanted insurance money before starting repairs.
Fox 26 has not received a statement from the landlord, or the attorney for NB Elite. The City tells Fox 26 the management will now allow residents out of their leases, and issue some sort of refund. Residents have not yet confirmed this offer.