WXYZ takes action for a tenant with rental in bad need of repair

DETROIT, Mi (WXYZ) - Rita Galvan thought she hit the jackpot when she came across an ad for an eye-catching Detroit home rental.

At $800 a month, it was seemingly the perfect fit for her son, who asked not to be shown on camera.
But what she initially thought was luck, quickly turned into a nightmare.

The sink won’t drain, and it hasn’t for four months, leaving dishes piling up. Meanwhile in her son’s bedroom, there’s a constant draft of cold air due to a broken window.

And the list of problems goes on, a chimney shaft that won’t close, causing major heat loss, and a basement with water damage from a recent flood.

Time and time again, Galvan was told by her son’s landlord at Jimco properties that the fixes would be made

But after three months of text messages and answers to the management company, nothing has been done.

According to the city of Detroit, the property is in violation. And more research has revealed, another 35 Jimco properties also in violation of city code.

So far, the company has defended their decision not to make repairs, and they’ve provided the reasons for that in a statement to WXYZ that is posted below.

The good news is that after bringing repairs on at least this home to the company’s attention, we spotted contractors taking action to make some fixes.

But the question remains: what are tenants to do if a landlord does not keep their property up?

The city of Detroit says you should report it via phone at (313) 628-2451. A dedicated staff will then make a determination on whether it needs to be forwarded for inspection.

Statement from Jimco Properties:

Please see attachment to reference your email that was sent to us on

Monday February 6th 2017 @ 5:47 pm.

We will follow up this email tomorrow & provide you with:

*   A copy of Mr. Galvans lease agreement on 20638 Kingsville
*   The Addendum to the Lease that was executed at the commencement of the lease by Mr. Glaven's himself.

Till then, perhaps providing a little background information to you will clarify any questions to your inquiry & expedite in finding resolve to any misunderstanding there may have been.

20638 Kingsville was leased October 26th 2016, to Matt Galvin for $800 per month.
The previous rent to another tenant prior to Mr. Galvin was $1000 per month.

Gary Edwards hired a crew to go in to paint,clean, & prep the property to be leased.

Mr. Galvin had inquired about renting the property online through TRULIA.
When Gary Edwards our Property Controller, met with Mr. Galvin, he stated he couldn't afford the $1000 a month rent.
but that he was very handy & asked if it would be possible to rent the house for $800 a month, if:

*   He accepted the house in it's " as is" condition  &
*   Instead of using the crew we hired, he did the work instead.
*   I.E. clean up the exterior, Cut the lawn, cut back shrubbery, Finish painting & making minor repairs etc.
*   & If we would consider eliminating the security deposit. Than he could afford the house.

They were able to come to agreeable terms. The terms of which are clearly stated in the the lease. Written in the language of the lease & stated in the addendum to the lease. An Addendum which specifically states that Mr. Galvan was accepting the property in its

"as is " condition.

*   This was in exchange of him receiving the first 30 days of his rent  for free (The equivalent of $800, on a property that we previously leased for $1000)
*   The elimination of his $800 security deposit.
*   The lease is clear. Any repairs required by any municipality, as well as his clean up and cosmetic repairs, are his sole responsability
*   The tenant was to transfer the utilities in his name within 24 hours of signing the lease back in October.

Which he did not do, & never has.

2 weeks ago we received a shut off notice from Dte Energy for over $800.

The Property Controller, Gary Edwards spoke to the Galvin's & Gary offered to go pay that bill so that the power was not turned off, thus avoiding the potential of cold nights for the tenant & frozen pipes.

The Galvin's said they would be in the next day to reimburse Gary, & have service established in their name. As they were supposed to have done within 24 hours as a term of their lease, at the time the lease commenced in October.

We also sent over an electrician on November 1st, to:

*   Install new electrical service
*   As well as a heating contractor to replace the thermal coupler on the furnace.

Mrs. Galvin seems too be a nice a enough lady.

However, we would like to point out that she is not a party in this lease.

Her son is an adult & in his 40's. And He is the named Tenant on the lease.

In closing, these are not just words this is all in writing, well documented & signed by the tenant. Which as we mentioned above, will be provided to you tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Jimco Properties

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