OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Residents of a northwest Oklahoma City apartment said the owner abandoned them and left for Colorado, leaving them with all the bills and upkeep for the buildings, but the owner told KFOR he left because no one would pay their rent.
KFOR talked to the apartment owner over the phone Monday afternoon.
His answer for the situation was short and simple when he said, “I’m broke.”
He also said the residents had not paid their rent for a full year.
The residents that remain in the apartment said he wouldn’t fix things, which has caused a back and forth, leaving the complex with no actual management.
“It’s just a disgrace,” said Sade Commander, a resident at the complex.
The Five Star Copperwood Apartment Complex hasn’t been looking so five star with a big pile of trash sitting in the back, a couple burnt down rooms, and overgrown grass on the property.
Residents like Commander said the apartment owner left them high and dry to live on the heaping pile of trash and abandoned them.
“It’s hard for us,” Commander said.
It started as a small pile for trash, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. It has since turned into a garbage heap that bothers nearby homeowners as well. They said they have to pick up some of that trash out of their yards, while also worrying about pests.
“We have traps all over our garage because every time we open our door, they’re just like whoop,” said Lizty Pasillas, a homeowner next to the apartments.
“Two, three times per week I have to come out and pick-up trash out of the yard because it blows down,” said Kathleen Kochi, a homeowner next to the apartments.
The residents of the apartment claim the owner is in Colorado. According to the Oklahoma County Assessor and the owner himself, it’s true.
“Why is it that these people are saying you’re running away and you’re not paying bills?” KFOR asked. “We just want to get your side of this story.”
“The tenants wouldn’t pay their rent, so I don’t have the funds to continue to run it,” the owner said over the phone Monday afternoon.
The owner said the residents didn’t pay their rent for a whole year. Residents like Commander though said they were paying it but stopped when the owner quit fixing things and paying the mortgage.
“We should just come together and sue him,” Commander said.
“Is there anything you have to say to these folks who are basically stuck paying these bills and can’t get the apartment fixed up?” KFOR asked.
“I don’t know what to do now,” the apartment owner said.
Both sides are now at a standstill with city notices sitting out in front of the property. Both sides refuse to give in.
“I don’t have the money to fly over there either,” the owner said.
“Like to drive down, to come back to at least address the situations that are going on?” KFOR asked.
“No,” he said.
“We’re not going nowhere until they pay to move us somewhere else,” Commander said.
Sade said a lot of residents moved out after the incident started. However, some are still there.
A lot of them, including Commander, have pulled money from their own pockets to mow, pay bills and fix other issues, including the garbage problem.