INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indy renter says a simple repair in his home turned into a months-long issue so he reached out to Call 6 Investigates for help.
Josh Tennison delights in ink.
With a needle, he can design a piece of art almost anywhere on your body.
"There is nothing like seeing my tattoos living on a person like what a high compliment to have someone wearing something I designed for the rest of their life," said Tennison.
His work takes him around the country, so he welcomes being home on the south side of Indianapolis on Amble Way.
"My home is my sanctuary--it's where I come to be comfortable and know all my stuff is safe."
That changed on March 26.
"I came home and heard a 'drip, drip, drip,' and I'm looking everywhere for it."
Tennison says he found a significant leak in his bathroom and called his property management team, Indianapolis-based Progress Residential Property Manager, LLC, which immediately arranged for a repairman.
Then again in June - the same area needed to be repaired - but this time the damage was more extensive, and there was mold.
"I thought it was fixed the first time," said Tennison. "It separated tiles in the kitchen, and mildew smell came from it. Oh, it was terrible. My house stunk."
A second repair was made, and someone else was sent out to clean up the mold, but they didn't do any testing.
Tennison felt like he was getting the runaround, so he reached out to Call 6 Investigates for help.
Facing an August 8 deadline from the Marion County Health Department, the property management had to repair the kitchen floor, clean up the mold, and make interior wall repairs.
This time, a contractor was hired to get the job done.
"I'm not trying to sue anybody. I just want my stuff fixed. I don't want to live like this," said Tennison.
The property manager paid for Tennison's hotel stay during the repair period for about ten days. He was allowed to seek reimbursement of up to $125 per day during that period of time.
Tennison will also be allowed to break his lease so he can move out, and he was offered a rent credit.
Call 6 received the following statement on behalf of the Progress Residential:
"Our residents are our first priority. We take matters such as water intrusion seriously and have completely remediated the damage, while also making repairs to prevent a recurrence. We are working proactively with our resident to accommodate his needs and address all of his concerns from this incident that are brought to our attention."
Here are six ways to protect your rights during these situations:
Document. Take pictures and video. Lots of them. Make sure your device's time date stamp is working.
Immediately make your complaint by following the procedures in your lease/contract.
Also, file your complaint in writing via e-mail or regular mail.
Give your landlord a chance to fix the problem and ask for a repair plan in writing with a tentative start and end date.
Call your insurance agent and check if the damage or situation is covered by your policy.
(Final Step) Call your local health department or buildings department which can enforce housing safety codes.