Landlord Not Required by Law to Fix Apartment Issues for Valley Veteran, Family
HARLINGEN – A Rio Grande Valley veteran and his family are running out of time, money and options. They are being evicted from their apartment for falling behind on their rent.
Jose Salazar and his wife Diana are at their wit's end. They claim the management at Camino Real Apartments in Harlingen isn't taking their complaints seriously.
They say they took a list of complaints, as instructed by the front office, to the office manager.
"I said okay," said Jose Salazar. "So we give the list to her. And I haven't seen nothing at all."
Their biggest concerns fleas, ticks, and rodents.
"We don't have no dogs or cats or anything to be bitten by fleas, but we are surrounded with fleas," said Diana Salazar.
They also told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the columns that are holding up the upstairs walkway needs immediate attention.
"They've got to fix this building," said Jose. "This building is old."
The Salazars said they reached their boiling point when sewage started seeping into their kitchen sink.
"Black water kept coming up and I took pictures of it," said Diana. "And it's sickening, you can't cook, you can't clean, you can't wash dishes. They took three or four days to fix it."
On Tuesday, CHANNEL 5 NEWS went to the front office during normal business hours. No one answered the door. Our crews returned on Wednesday to speak with management.
We spoke to the office manager, Mary Flores, who declined an on-camera interview and said her supervisor was not willing to speak to us.
Flores claims she never received a list of concerns from the Salazars detailing issues with rodents, bugs or sewage backups.
She said she had every issue they brought to her attention fixed, including problems with their stove, A/C and kitchen sink.
Flores adds the Salazars are being evicted for not being current on their rent.
The Salazar family is in a difficult position.
According to the Office of the Texas Attorney General:
"If the landlord won't make repairs needed to protect your health, safety, or security, and you follow the procedures required by law, you may be entitled to: End the lease; Have the problem repaired and deduct the cost of the repair from the rent; or File suit to force the landlord to make the repairs."
These potential legal remedies depend on tenants being current on their rent.
The Salazars told CHANNEL 5 NEWS they've fallen on hard times and can't afford to bring it up-to-date.
The Camino Real Apartments in Harlingen are not affiliated with Camino Real Builders out of Hidalgo County.
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