St. Louis, MO (KTVI) -- A St. Louis woman rented an apartment only to find out two months later the building is condemned and she must move out.
JaTina Harrison found an apartment online. She talked to the man she thought was the owner late February. They agreed she'd move in the first of March according to JaTina. "I gave him a security deposit of $725 and he prorated my rent for March, which was $585."
Plumbing issues delayed the move in. Two weeks later she discovered exposed pipes and no heat. "When I tried to turn on the heater, it wouldn`t come on. Then [the landlord] came to install the furnace and he encountered another plumbing problem."
As if all the issues were not enough, JaTina then received a notice from the St. Louis Building Division. Frank Oswald head of the Building Division explains, "The city does require that a certificate of inspection or an occupancy permit is issued prior to somebody moving in," he said. The last inspection for occupancy on record is 2012.
The city lists the owners as Family First NV LLC with an office in Creve Couer, but that company could not be located by KTVI. The building JaTina lives in is officially condemned and the condemnation is based on a couple of things, the missing occupancy permit, repairs done without permits and the ownership question. It`s a regular occurrence according to Frank Oswald. "Sometimes the tenant becomes an innocent victim in these situations because they either assume the owner has obtained the occupancy permit or sometimes the owners even tell them they`ve obtained the occupancy permit and they have not."
"It`s very stressful, because while I`m at work I`m wondering and praying that when I come home that I can get into the home," said JaTina.