We had a house fire on June 7th 2007. David Garden/Garden Homes Realty had an ad in the paper for a house for rent. We saw the house on the 9th of July, SIX (6) of us were told that the deplorable conditions would be 'night and day' by our move-in date (13th of July), signed lease, paid security deposit, and first month on 10th of July with DECLARATIONS UPON DECLARATIONS the house will be ready by the 13th.
We were given a key the day we signed the lease. My/Our check was cashed the NEXT DAY, we came to the house on the 13th ready to move-in, and found the house IN THE SAME SHAPE AS IT WAS ON THE 9TH OF JULY!!!
While it is quicker to list what is NOT wrong with the place, I am taking the time to list ALL the problems, I will be including a link to the County Records on this property which will disclose ALL THE PROBLEMS the house has and how despite being fined & issued orders to repair by the County and/or City, Mr. Garden, Garden Homes Realty, Star Homes, Inc., et.al. will do NOTHING about it but FILE COURT PAPERS FOR EVICTION the day after you complain to the City/County or whomever about YOUR so-called 'home'.
Our mother has NUMEROUS health problems, particularly lung disease, and once you read the rest of this, PRAY THAT SHE LIVES!!!
Bear in mind we have over 100 pages now of documentation SENT to the company, complaints filed with the City, the County, the Attorney General, and now we have to get a PRIVATE ATTORNEY since we exercised OUR TENANT RIGHTS to have a habitable home. Furthermore, he WILL declare to any municipality that the tenant is either A) Not a tenant but a buyer, B) Bought the home, and C) TALK TO HIS ATTORNEY.
The following link will take you to the City of Indianapolis, County of Marion, IN's housing violation site:
When you get to this screen, click on address, fill in the addresss 2250 N Elizabeth St 46219, and you'll see for yourself. The one that WE FILED is listed as HSG07-02608 in the main 'screen'. CLick on that, you will see all our names and Garden's names, and at the top you can click on the HSG07-02608 and see the PAGES OF PAGES OF SEVERE HOUSING VIOLATIONS WHEN SHE CAME TO THE HOME ON THE 20TH!! Yep - we were leased a death trap. I feel for EVERYONE who has been victimized by this SOB.
Here are the issues with our "wonderful newly remodeled home" (using his website's language):
1. No furnace - gas company & hvac company declared broken; county inspector confirmed as evidenced by report.
2. Central a/c - once temp outside is above 80, you need window a/c's just to have some type of cooling. Keep having to take mom and us to a family member's house to avoid my mother being taken to the hospital since she cannot breathe!!! Our asthma has also tripled due to the heat and mold (see #3)!!! Per hvac company that cost me $90.00, a/c is improperly installed, return-air duct is non-existent, outside unit and inside unit are mis-matched and/or undersized, will cost +/- $3,500 and up to replace!!! (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
3. Mold in bedroom - shower is not installed properly and water pours into the bedroom. Now there is black mold growing in my bedroom to the point i cannot and will not even sleep in there (verified and evidenced by county inspector)!!!
4. Toilet in main bathroom is not secured to the floor; you sit on it and spin!!! (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
5. ELECTRICAL OUTLETS, SWITCHES, CIRCUITS, GARAGE ELECTRICAL, AND OUTDOOR OUTLET(S): 2 outlets have burned up and d**n near caused 2 fires. Found extension cords being used within the walls to power outlets, switches, and circuits!!! Garage electrical is literally 'pieced together' by tape!!!(verified and evidenced by county inspector)
6. WATER HEATER: does not properly heat water as this was damaged by one of the three fires that occurred at this property before we leased it. Inspector smelled gas, notated such, however we all must be 'used to it' as we did not really smell it!! (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
7. INSULATION: no attic insulation until we semi-insulated it. Insulation was never installed after one of the fires!! (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
8. STOVE/FRIDGE: took 5 days to get stove and fridge. Fridge did not work properly, we were sitting here about a week ago and smelled something burning. Opened the fridge and it was smoking!!! Unplugged and investigated, found the defrost heaters had burned up/possibly caught fire. Thank god we were here (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
9. DUCTWORK: went underneath the house and found the living room, all bedrooms, and return-air ducts were either missing, fell apart, taped together with tape, or laying in the crawlspace. Spent $110 for new ductwork and 4 hours of my time replacing (we thought this is why the a/c did not work originally).. Verified and evidenced by county inspector)
10. WINDOWS: no windows have screens. Living room and kitchen have new windows, but no screens. All other windows are sealed with caulk or sealant, cannot be opened, have no screens, and some are made of plexi-glass!!! (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
11. CARPET: was ordered by previous county reports to replace due to previous tenants having donkeys, chickens, and other farm animals as pets. These reports are also available at the website indicated above where you can acess the history of this home. You walk in here and you think you are walking into a barn!! (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
12. OUTSIDE EAVES, DOWNSPOUTS, & OVERHANGS: Overhangs (wooden) are falling down, only two downspouts exist, eaves/gutters are failing, basically ready to fail at ANY time (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
13. OUTSIDE ELECTRICAL SERVICE ENTRANCE TO HOUSE: Per Power co. and inspectors, electric is FAR from compliant. The power comes into the house, in between the useless garage (#14), and has wiring HANGING and/or IMPROPERLY used. (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
14. GARAGE: Leased the home w/a 2 1/2 car garage. Main door is busted in, is off the track, cannot be opened by THREE STRONG MEN, and side entrance door has NO LOCKS!!! All we can use IT for is storage of non-important things since there is no way to secure the thing. Electrical in the garage is put together by tape, wiring going to outside lights that are exposed to rain are held together by tape!! (verified and evidenced by county inspector)
15. YARD: Have a sink-hole in front yard, fence/yard is in violation of Zoning, and recent rain revealed we just might have been UNDER WATER due to no drainage. This is an ongoing violation - again, refer to the City/County website to see EVERYTHING on this property!! (verified and evidenced by county inpector)
If this house is a 'newly remodeled beautiful home', then I'd REALLY like to see a non-remodeled home.....
The company/David/whomever has gone through FOUR DIFFERENT OFFICE PEOPLE IN A MONTH, all communications we have had with them go unreturned (we ALWAYS call from our cell phones to ensure we have a record to print), and now that we have involved the County and City Inspectors which resulted in an order to repair in 14 days, HE FILED TO EVICT US THE DAY AFTER THE ORDER WAS ISSUED!!!
In Indiana, and as with most States, a Landlord must give a "Notice to Quit" with the reason why. We NEVER WERE SERVED WITH THIS NOTICE - ONLY THE EVICTION FILING based on un-paid rent (again, our SIGNED lease says $750.00, on the eviction filing it states $825.00), Damages to the property (which we assume are the issues above - hell like we have miracle hands that make things deteriorate in less than a month!!), he want posession of the property (fine by us - we're counter-suing for the monies spent on the place, the deposit, all rent paid, and the remaining 'value' of the lease since HE broke the lease by filing to evict us), and court costs.
He has tried to state we have purchased the home on land-contract. Well, do your homework and you will find a land-contract requires a seller's disclosure, truth-in-lending, you name it. Furthermore, this is "Paragraph II" of our lease, which we DID NOT sign, nor have we seen it, and does not apply to us. Even the signature page is signed as "Landlord" and "Tenants". In Indianapolis, whether you are a Landlord or not, whether you are just leasing/renting or buying on land-contract or other terms, WHOEVER IS ON THE DEED IS THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY. Here is the link that shows such and has ALWAYS been defeated in courts when used as 'justification' for not performing:
hhcorp.org/brd_code.htm - scroll to section 10 (TEN): Residential Property and Housing.
Finally, when the Inspector contacted David Garden, he told the inspector that WE own the house and/or we purchased it on land contract. He was informed that his counterpart, Bill McLaughlin, who is part of Garden Homes Realty, is NAMED ON THE DEED AND IS RESPONSIBLE. Told the Inspector off and to call his attorney.
Again, NEXT DAY, We get served with eviction papers........ So what are we then? You can evict tenants when you are a landlord; if we 'supposedly' are buying the home, or bought the home, then we cannot be 'evicted' since there is NO LANDLORD/TENANT RELATIONSHIP.
Make up your mind who you are David - you can't wear all these hats to try and gain the advantage!! He and/or his company are also QUITE STUPID to leave Voicemails with details that ALLOWED US TO DEDUCT THE MONEY WE DID DUE TO HAVING EMERGENCY REPAIRS... Guess he's too busy screwing over the next victim to remember leaving voicemails like that. What I would give to see this televised across Indiana and then some!!!! Also, if you are going to sue someone, AT LEAST GET MY NAME RIGHT & OUR SIGNED LEASE TERMS RIGHT!!! Again, he's probably just 'too busy' as always to remember what HE signed his name to as well.... There is also one HUGE no-no in courts that will get you into trouble REALLY fast: PERJURY!! Falsification of documents and/or perjury is, last time I checked, BREAKING THE LAW!!!
We have filed complaints with the Indiana Attorney General, the Indiana Realty Borad, the Indy BBB, The City of Indianapolis, The County of Marion, and now we have to be hauled into court to GET OUR MONEY BACK on top of evicted!! Justice will prevail at the court date. The hundreds of pages of documentation in our possession will not only piss the judge off, but will certainly and easily prove we have been FORCED to live in deplorable conditions, live AT MY BROTHER'S FOR WEEKS during this recent heat-wave, live at OTHER relatives homes when our breathing/health gets so bad, and now have to somehow find ANOTHER place to live... If this place JUST got fixed up as it should, we would stay. Since it is not, we intended to vacate and sue anyway, but he jumped the gun, violated so many laws and ordinances it isn't even funny, and thinks he's going to get another dime out of us... WRONG!!!
In our counter-suit, we are also asking the court to ORDER David Garden et.al. to live in this house for a week, IN THE CONDITIONS IT IS IN TODAY, on top of refunding EVERY PENNEY he stole from us.
Feel free to contact me/us and we'll send you more documentation upon request. DO NOT DO ANY BUSINESS WITH THE PEOPLE LISTED - IT IS 100% SCAM, 100% Deception, 100% Deceptive Trade Practices, and violates so many real-estate laws, State Laws, Local Laws/Ordinances, and maybe even Federal Laws.
Regardless, DO YOUR HOMEWORK with anyone - not just these scam artists, but with ANYONE. Your best bet is to contact the City and the County that the property is in. BBB records are ONLY out there if someone complains; most are afraid to complain due to what happened to us - but we honestly have NOTHING to lose!!! We already have been in a home for a little over a month and CANNOT USE THE MAJORITY OF IT!!
DO NOT be afraid to complain either. We all know some are not fortunate, like us, to afford an attorney. There are MANY legal aid services wherever you are and PLEASE - for the sake of your OWN safety, security, and financial standing, SPEAK UP!! Nothing can get done unless people SPEAK UP!!!
Like I've said before, he had FULL KNOWLEDGE of the conditions of this property and STILL went ahead and outright LIED to us, DECEVIED us, and PRAYED upon my elderly, sick, and dying mother by CONVINCING us he will take care of us in our time of need. Afterall, we lost EVERYTHING due to our house burning down and everything in it - he saw people desperately needing a roof over their heads and took us for everything we've got... Let's pray upon the elderly, the disabled, and those who LOST EVERYTHING just to make a buck...
Now it is our turn!! If you want pictures of this or to see any of our documentation, PLEASE JUST ASK...
Good luck to you - you have been warned... We're not the only ones... Do YOU WANT TO BE NEXT???