- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Several renters reached out to Channel 2 Action News with concerns about water leaks, delayed repairs and photoshopped pictures.
Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Ashli Lincoln has been looking into Alpharetta-based property management company Excalibur Homes for months.
Channel 2 Action News first reported on a woman dealing with raw sewage backing up in her rental from Excalibur Homes in May.
After that story, Channel 2 Action News heard about more issues including a house with water leaks and mold.
Lincoln took the new concerns to the company’s president and got action.
“We should have never moved into this house,” said Autumn Page.
“You can see on the floor all the water,” said Page’s husband, Ian Cohen.
“Over here, it’s collapsing,” Cohen continued as he gave a tour of the couple’s damp, dilapidated and damaged rental property.
“Everything has to be thrown away. This is thousands of dollars worth of property,” said Page about the couches, mattress, and vacuum cleaner in the front yard.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
The couple said the problems began within weeks of moving into a southwest Atlanta rental home they found through property management company Excalibur Homes.
Several water leaks, black mold, broken doors, non-working electrical units, and a slanting foundation are just a few of the issues.
“Here the floor is caving in,” said Cohen.
The couple said when they make maintenance requests within minutes Excalibur’s maintenance team will cancel them or said Page, “When they do send someone out, the person will come out and write up a letter to Excalibur to say how much this will cost… Excalibur never pays them, and they never come back.”
Soncel’ra Bankston said the electrical wiring was so bad in her Excalibur Homes rental in Hapeville she had to unplug the fridge to run the dishwasher.
An electrician told her, “‘I’m surprised this house hasn’t caught fire.’ And I was like, ‘wait a minute, what?’” said Bankston.
Riley Humphreys was checking out Excalibur Homes rentals and found spray paint on the door of one warning people not to rent from the company.
She also discovered some pictures of the homes were photoshopped.
“The yards in the photos would look lush and green and then we got there, they would be brown, and barren covered with trash sometimes,” said Humphreys.
“The partial deposit they sent me, someone else signed it,” said Sherrita Morton.
She said Excalibur Homes only mailed back $195 of an $850 deposit.
MORE FROM 2 INVESTIGATES:
Morton also said Excalibur Homes mailed the check to an address at a Gwinnett County shopping center that she did not provide.
“When you hear about mold, when you hear fecal matter, sewage leaks for yourself, do you imagine living in any of these types of properties?” asked Lincoln.
“Would I do that? No. Would I tolerate that, no,” replied Mike Nelson the President of Excalibur Homes.
Lincoln showed him a video of the black mold inside Autumn Page and Ian Cohen’s home.
“That property, that 320 Brooks was a mistake,” said Nelson.
He admitted the company dropped the ball. No follow-up was done when the vendor closed the work order after discovering the leak was coming from the roof not the plumbing.
“We didn’t get anything from the tenant and so the maintenance department just plain lost it and should not have… Now it’s their top priority,” said Nelson.
He said a 21-page assessment report found $9,200 in repairs are needed.
“Is understaffing an issue?” asked Lincoln.
“To a degree, we’ve got a lot more tenants in the market than we have rental houses available,” answered Nelson.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
Since 2018, Nelson said Excalibur went from having eight property managers to 24 in metro Atlanta.
He said renters often will reach out to the wrong department to report problems.
“Property manager doesn’t deal with maintenance. The maintenance department deals with maintenance,” said Nelson.
Lincoln also asked about Sherrita Morton’s check. “We’re under the impression she gave us the address,” said Nelson.
He said company records show she owed back rent, and that amount was deducted from her deposit.
Morton said her landlord sent a money order for the back rent.
Lincoln asked about the photoshopping.
Nelson admitted some landlords do it, but he thinks it’s a bad idea.
“We have no control over that. So that’s something that they feel like enhances their listings. I think it creates more problems,” said Nelson.
About 20 minutes before Lincoln interviewed Nelson, Autumn Page and Ian Cohen got an email saying they can move out without any penalties.
Atlanta Code Enforcement said the property next door to them has a sewage leak.
Excalibur Homes said that needs to be fixed before their home can be repaired.
MORE 2 INVESTIGATES: