OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – KFOR has done several stories about issues at the Foxcroft Apartments in northwest Oklahoma City.
Most notably, the apartment complex with 188 units was without heat all winter.
In January, a court order from Oklahoma County District Judge Anthony Bonner concerning no rent acceptance was issued.
In March, legal action was taken against the complex, accusing them of violating a court order that states they can’t charge or accept rent from tenants until the heat is back on.
Thursday, a longtime resident reached out to KFOR about another problem he’s been having: flooding in his bedroom.
“The whole thing was flooded, so I called emergency maintenance,” said John Harsanyi, gesturing to the misshapen room.
“I slept for two days in the recliner outside because I couldn’t stand the smell in here. I had the door closed, the door closed, and I still smelled it,” he said.
John says he’s cleaned up the mess but it quickly returned.
“[They said the source of the flood was] upstairs. They heard it running in the wall,” he added, saying the maintenance team said they would need to cut the ceiling and the wall to fix it.
After waiting several days for the repairs, he contacted KFOR Thursday for help.
“I told them,’I’m calling the news’,” he said, adding that he’s worried about being evicted and is hoping his story will serve as insurance next year when his lease is up.
John said shortly after he made management aware that he’d contacted the station, they sent someone out to vacuum up the water.
However, late Thursday afternoon no actual repairs to the leak had been made, nor had the carpet been replaced.
“Nothing is taken care of [and] the plumber still hasn’t come out,” he said.
“[I told them] in February when the lease is due, you’re not going to deny me a new lease because I ratted on you,” he continued.
John says though he’s had an abundance of problems in the apartment, but he can’t afford to move, and he doesn’t want to.
“My wife and I came out here, and this apartment has got memories,” he said.
“She died ten years ago, and it’s been my home. [And] I broke my hip three years ago. I can’t bend. I can’t move,” he added.
“I think I deserve better than that after 18 years.”
KFOR spoke with Ryan Owens, who originally heard about the story through KFOR’s reporting about heat-related issues and stepped in to help get rent suspended for affected residents until all of those repairs are done.
“[John] should be compensated because the landlord failed to fulfill its duty to its tenant,” he said.
Owens said depending on the severity of the leak, John might be able to vacate his unit and seek alternative housing and deduct those costs from his rent payments.
“He still has rights under the Landlord Tenant Act,” he continued, noting that John could pursue a lawsuit separate from the pending heat-related action, if the flooding issues are not adequately repaired.
However, he told KFOR several residents told him they’ve been contacted by apartment management and encouraged not to participate in a pending class-action lawsuit.
“They’re pulling them in one at a time and asking them to sign a paper that says they do not want to be part of a class-action lawsuit,” he said.
“Unfortunately, under Oklahoma’s rules of civil procedure, that’s not improper to do,” he noted, also adding that several residents have indicated that they feel intimidated or threatened.
“It’s not like housing is getting cheaper,” he continued. “A lot of them are already there on Section Eight or other housing subsidies. So where do they go? What do they do?” he said.
“You put someone with no resources in a situation where they’re given a piece of paper and asked to sign it…That’s scary.”
If you live at the Foxcroft Apartments and you’ve received an exclusion request letter from the complex, please contact KFOR reporter Ashley Moss: email@example.com .