Purdue student says rental house is not fit for living

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Purdue University student is fighting to end her lease because she said the house is not fit for living.

Hannah Thomas was excited to move back to campus, until she saw the house she and her friends signed a lease for.

“It’s filthy, there’s dog hair everywhere, there’s dirt caked onto the stairs,” Thomas said. “There’s rodent droppings in the kitchen drawers and the smell is just terrible.”

Thomas said what’s even worse is the state of the home itself.

“The structure of this home is just questionable, so I just felt unsafe,” Thomas said. “By code the landlord is supposed to provide you with a safe, clean sanitary environment and we didn’t feel it was either one of those.”

Several windows don’t open, others don’t lock, door knobs are missing and mold covers the walls in the basement. If there’s a fire, Thomas said getting out may be a problem.

“There’s no batteries in the fire detectors, so we can’t even test them. I don’t know if they work,” Thomas said.

Now, Thomas and her roommates have asked BK Management to end their lease.

“We’ve tried to remedy the situation by asking him if he will just at least give us our rent back and terminate the lease, and we can just leave it at that,” Thomas said. “He can keep the security deposit and we’ll leave, but he’s not even willing to do that.”

All rental properties in West Lafayette are inspected every two years by the West Lafayette City Development Department. Thomas’s house at 410 N. Salisbury St. was last inspected Aug. 8, 2013. There were three violations, but city housing program coordinator Dale Dixon said all the problems were fixed.

“A lot can happen in two years with turn over of tenants,” Dixon said. “You get different degrees of tenants that come through and live in a place differently than others would.”

Thomas has filed a formal complaint with the West Lafayette Development Department to have the problems with the house fixed.

“If a complaint comes in say for an example on the 18th, by the 28th we’re in the apartment or house to check things out,” Dixon said.

Until then, Thomas said she will continue to work on getting out of the lease and try to find a new place to live.

“We’re ready to take action because it’s just not fair to live in a home like this and to pay the and to pay the crazy amount of money that we pay to live here,” Thomas said.

A BK Management representative said a code enforcement officer will inspect the house Tuesday afternoon. He said if the house passes inspection, BK Management will not end the lease with Hannah and her roommates.

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