OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The owner-operator of a historic Oklahoma City apartment building is under fire for allegations of gross negligence and invasion of privacy from a pair of its residents.

The Classen, formerly known as The Citizens Bank Tower, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo from KFOR.

Dustin and Isabella York told KFOR they’ve been plagued with issues since moving into the building, beginning with a mix-up with their initial move-in date, requests for basic repairs they say have gone unaddressed and more.

“We moved in (to the apartment) on December 8th. It’s been chaos since day one,” said Dustin York.

“Our dishwasher was flooding our apartment. Our washer and dryer didn’t work. We’ve made it known multiple times and I’ve provided pictures. My dishwasher has water still standing in it, and they will not fix it,” he added.

York told KFOR the breaking point was a series of incidents where maintenance barged into their apartment with no notice or warning, including a precarious situation involving his wife.

“My heater went out in February. Maintenance [came] in multiple times unannounced, walked in on my wife naked in bed…didn’t even knock, just walked in,” said resident Dustin York.

“I’m seven months pregnant, and I do not feel comfortable coming home with my newborn to a building that’s in this condition and where I’m not going to feel safe,” added his wife, Isabella.

The Yorks are also alleging that a large sum of money they had planned to use for their newborn has gone missing as well.

“We [also] had a bag of money that we had saved for our child to put in the bank, and well…it went missing,” said Dustin.

As a result, the couple is asking for damages and compensation, more than $15,000.

“They’re creating the type of environment that allows people to freely come and go from an apartment that totally violates your privacy. There’s not 24-hour notice if there’s any notice at all. It’s very cavalier,” added Jonathan Nation, the attorney representing the couple.  

Other residents would not go on camera out of fear of retaliation, but also told KFOR about their problems with the building, including issues with mold, broken security cameras, getting trapped in elevators and more.

The attorney for the couple said negligence of that level is a violation of the Oklahoma Tenant Act, and they’ll be adding those additional maintenance issues to the lawsuit once they are able to sort through additional details and evidence.

Vesta Realty, the company that owns and manages the building, declined to comment on the suit but said they’ve been working through several issues since taking over the building back in October of 2021. The main concern is making sure residents are happy, they said.

“It’s kind of an older building [and] you do have issues that happen,” said Kelsey Gomez, VP for Vesta Realty. “We’ve taken a lot of steps to not only ensure that safety and security is a top priority, but kind of bring back things that were down,” she added, referring to the pool and the hot tub.

“Our top priority is making sure that the residents have a home that they love and they cherish.”

Dustin York said that reassurance is just not enough to keep them in the building, adding that he and his wife are packing up and getting out as soon as possible.

“We’re paying premium prices, and, uh, and nothing ever gets fixed,” he countered. “We put multiple work orders in…they just talk a big game.”

“Every time we try to talk to them, they turn you away,” he said, adding that there’s been negligence on all levels. “I want to just…I want to move somewhere else, and I want to be compensated for my losses.”