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Colonial Heights mother had to wait weeks for repairs after broken pipe flooded her apartment

Colonial Heights mother had to wait weeks for repairs after broken pipe flooded her apartment
Posted at 4:52 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 17:47:18-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- It's been 48 days since a Colonial Heights mom said a pipe burst upstairs and water rained down from her ceiling, drenching her home, damaging items and forcing her to throw out personal items.

Tephanie Warren was working from home when said she heard contractors banging in the apartment above hers. Just minutes later, she said water started pouring into her home because of a burst pipe.

The pots and pans she scattered around her home to capture the leak could hardly contain the water.

"It started pouring in my living room. By then, it was uncontrollable. Pots and pans couldn't even hold the amount of water that was coming down in here," Warren said. "The water was coming through the creeks and the cracks up of the floor. My room was already flooded with water."

She said that initially, the complex sent out a crew that installed fans and dehumidifiers. However, weeks later, she was still dealing with water issues and more.

She said despite a Terrace View manager promising to put her family in a hotel, it never happened. That was just one of a number of unfulfilled promises.

"He was like please calm down for me, he was like don't worry about anything. He said this was horrible, oh my God, your apartment is literally being rained inside. He was like you don't have to worry about anything, we're gonna make sure we take care of you," Warren said.

At her wits end with no hot water and wet spots still on her ceiling and in parts of her home, Warren reached out to the CBS6 Problem Solvers.

She said she has been on a crusade to get SMG Property Management to fix all plumbing issues, leaks in her hallway and bedroom and a dishwasher that was backing up into the sink. She is also seeking reimbursement for damaged personal items.

"I'm not rich and I feel like they should be held accountable. I've lost stuff that I've had to throw away from this unit flooding like it is, it hurts," Warren said.

CBS6 reached out to regional manager Jane Rhody, who explained that her out-of-state office wasn't fully aware of all of Warren's challenges since the Terrace View property manager was let go recently.

She also confirmed the complex has no full-time maintenance person on site but they are working to fill both positions and are making Warren's case a priority.

Rhody sent a contractor this week and Warren said now her plumbing, dishwasher, hot water and leaking problems are fixed. They also plan to replace her carpet.

Renters should know there is a repair and deduct law in Virginia if your landlord isn't being responsive. If you can afford it, you can pay a contractor to fix the issues for up to $1,500.

You should then present your itemized receipt to the landlord and, by law, they must accept it and then deduct that from your rent.