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Family desperate to get out of their lease, rental house

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Jacob and Natalie Brooks are desperate for another new start.

They recently moved to Oklahoma from California to be closer to family.

They're unhappy with their rental house and The Brown Group Real Estate.   

Mostly though, they're worried about their daughter's health.

5 year-old Karina recalls being woken up with mice in the bed with her.

“I'm really scared because my mommy says they're not harmless,” she said.

Mom, Natalie, and dad, Jacob, were startled awake out of a deep sleep.

“And they took off and it was so fast,” Natalie said. “And that's when we're like, ‘Oh my god!’”

The family has photo evidence of rodents throughout the house.   

“I've had to replace my food three times."

They’re concerned for Karina's well-being.

She was recently diagnosed with epilepsy.

There are more issues with the home's electrical wiring.

“I can't come home another day and my wife is in tears,” Jacob said.

The family says their landlord, The Brown Group, sent them to eviction.

The Brooks have two dogs and are in a dispute with their landlord over the fence.

Property Manager Tony Green telling the In Your Corner team they sent the family a standard 5 day pay or quit notice, because of an unpaid pet deposit that they were made aware of prior to signing the lease.  

“It's not expressly noted in our lease however all of our tenants are notified that pest control is their responsibility,” Green said.

He says with each grievance, they responded in a timely manner in accordance to Oklahoma's Landlord Tenant Act, eventually making the decision to go ahead and send an exterminator to the Brook's rental property anyway.

The situation is catching the attention of Midwest City Inspectors.

“It's old electric and the breakers are being tripped, old electric, new appliances, more power, it's going to cause them to trip more,” said MWC Community Development Director, Bill Harless. “The more and more they trip the more dangerous they become.”

Inspectors are giving The Brown Group a second chance to make the corrections.

“We put ‘em on notice that they need to correct the problem,” he said. “If they do not correct the problem up to code, then we'll fine them.”

Apparently they got the message, dispatching an electrician to the property for repairs the next day, while helping negotiate a deal between the Brooks and their landlord, we were surprised to find the Brown Group charges its tenants a non-refundable move-in fee, instead of a refundable security deposit.

“It is part of our business strategy and I cannot release that information,” Green said. “However I can tell you it is advantageous for property management and tenants alike to have a move-in fee over a security deposit.”

The Brown Group says they're ready to let the family out of their lease and hope to transfer that move-in fee to a security deposit, meaning barring any damages or unpaid rent, the family should get their money back. 

We'll keep you posted.