44°F
weather icon Clear

Leaking ceilings, falling tiles in rental home: ‘It’s not safe to live in’

When Mary Bodimer and her husband, John, moved into their Las Vegas rental home in May, they noticed a suspicious patch on the master bedroom’s ceiling.

Their landlord, a local company named King Futt’s PFM, said there had been a water leak but told the couple it had been fixed. That assurance evaporated on a rainy night in August, Mary Bodimer said.

Droplets of brown water began seeping through the ceiling and falling onto the carpet in their bedroom. It was only the first of three rooms that would develop ceiling leaks in the coming months.

Two more had appeared by Thanksgiving Day, Bodimer said. She and her husband collected rainwater inside a red plastic bowl on their living room floor and began making a pile of the tiles that had fallen from their guest bathroom’s water-damaged ceiling.

“The house is in complete disrepair,” she said. “It’s not safe to live in, and they don’t care.”

King Futt’s was the subject of a Review-Journal investigation published earlier this month. Current and former tenants alleged the company rented them neglected homes and put off requested repairs. Bodimer contacted the news organization after reading the Dec. 4 investigation.

Today, her master bedroom has a hole nearly 5-square-feet large in its ceiling that continues to leak. Below the hole, yellow tape is being used to keep the mirrored wall from crashing to the floor. Bodimer said she and her husband have been sleeping in their living room for almost two weeks, driven out by a sour smell that permeates their room.

This week, King Futt’s emailed Mary Bodimer that a contractor had been hired to put a new roof on the house starting next Monday, according to a copy of the email she provided the Review-Journal. However, one local expert in construction law said it was unacceptable that the Bodimers had been living with the leaks for so long.

“This is a violation of building code. You’ve got to have a structure that’s weatherproof,” said Neil Opfer, an associate professor of construction management at UNLV. “If you’ve got continual water damage then you’ve got a situation where there’s mold.”

Problem reported to landlord in August

Bodimer said she reported the master bedroom’s leak to King Futt’s when she first spotted it in August, but nothing was done to address the problem until mid-November.

When a contractor was finally hired, Bodimer said they only removed the moldy insulation and replaced the damaged ceiling drywall. It fell down again less than two weeks later.

“Nothing ever actually gets fully solved,” she said of her home. “It just gets temporarily fixed.”

King Futt’s executive manager Erin Ben-Samochan declined to speak with the Review-Journal about the alleged problems with the Bodimer’s rental home in southeast Vegas. Instead, she wrote in an email that the company was handling the claims directly with the family.

More problems

The family said the roof is just one problem they have with the three-bedroom house they pay $1,750 a month to rent.

Mary Bodimer claimed the air conditioning broke multiple times this summer, and the electricity bills for their 2,000-square-foot home have averaged about $600 a month since late June. She said a King Futt’s employee told her the company doesn’t offer refunds for utility bills.

The family also recently received a notice demanding they pay King Futt’s an additional $450 for unpaid utilities and associated late fees, or they could have their utilities disconnected and face eviction. Bodimer said the company stopped pursuing the charges after her husband discovered the bill stemmed from utilities before their tenancy started.

“I feel like they’re just after money,” she said. “At this point I would do anything to have my money back and move elsewhere.”

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Davidson is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST