Mother sounds alarm over issues at Richmond apartment: 'I kept smelling something'

Posted at 2:02 PM, Jul 05, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- Another tenant is expressing concerns over the conditions at a historic building in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom.

The report comes after a woman went viral on TikTok expressing similar concerns with the same apartment complex in December.

WATCH: Woman's viral TikTok video exposed plumbing problems at Richmond apartment

Woman's viral TikTok video exposed plumbing problems at Richmond apartment

Those are similar conditions that Jasmine Pollard said she and her two kids have been living in at the River Lofts at Tobacco Row.

“It’s been hard,“ Pollard acknowledged. “I kept smelling something but didn’t have any moisture or leaks and was like where is this coming from?"

Pollard said the issue started a couple of months ago when she says she first noticed a strange odor and then spotted something growing on her son's bed.

River Lofts at Tobacco Row.
Jasmine Pollard

Pollard cleaned it up and said she did not think much about it until a month later when she made a startling discovery.

“It was water rushing from the ceiling flooding the bathroom. Water came into my son's bedroom,” she said.

According to Pollard, officials at the complex told her the repairs were more than its maintenance team could fix. As a result, they called a carpet contractor to inspect the damage.

“They said this unit has been flooded before," she recalled. "This is something going on before you got here.”

River Lofts at Tobacco Row.

Pollard said when they pulled up the carpet, they found what they told her was mold.

“They found it in my son's closest, baseboards in the carpet," she said. "He said this has been here well before you.”

Pollard then turned to the complex's Google reviews and discovered the CBS 6 report from December where another tenant raised concerns for months over flooding and sludge at the same apartment complex.

At the time the complex did not directly address the issues, but said "we work to resolve things as quickly as possible as we did in this case."

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“It was the most devastating because it isn’t something that just affects me,” she said.

Pollard said the complex is allowing her family to stay in a temporary unit and get out of her lease.

“You can get out of your lease like this is a get-out-of-jail-free card," Pollard said. "But that costs money.”

CBS 6 reached out to the property owners about the repeated concerns.

In a statement, Brookfield Properties called Pollard's situation an isolated issue and said they brought in professionals to resolve it and gave Pollard temporary housing.

"The experience of our residents is a top priority, and upon being notified of any reported tenant issue, we work to resolve them as quickly as possible," officials with Brookfield Properties wrote.

River Lofts at Tobacco RowRiver Lofts at Tobacco Row
River Lofts at Tobacco Row

Pollard said she is turning to Legal Aid regarding the situation and the effects she claims it has had on her and her kids' health.

She hopes sharing her story may spark greater change.

“If I don’t speak up about what is happening to me and my family, they will keep doing it," she said.

Attorneys said it is critical for renters who experience issues with their apartment complex to keep rent current. Additionally, renters should give the landlord notice of the problem in writing and state what they want done to resolve the issue.

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