DALLAS — A number of violations have been found at an apartment complex in southwest Oak Cliff, after neighbors began complaining about some unfavorable conditions this week.
Some tenants in Estrella at Kiest Apartments said they woke up to a foul odor and flooding on Sunday. It was raw sewage covering the floors in every room of their home.
“My whole room flooded. You’re talking about something sitting in feces,” one woman said, as she tried cleaning up her place.
The family and children living in the ground floor unit believed a busted pipe somewhere in the building caused the sewage leak.
“It started coming up from the rim of the toilet,” another tenant said.
The problem sent human waste seeping through the walls outside and leaking into their home. The women said management didn’t respond for hours. The family said it had to leave the toxic conditions, for safety.
“My uncle sent me money to get a hotel room. I had just paid the rent, and I’d just paid my car note. So, I didn’t have money to get a hotel room,” the woman explained.
The family claims it reported three similar leaks, in addition to faulty air conditioners, over several months. They said there was little to no action from property management and maintenance.
“They come out. They tweak it a little bit, but it never lasts long,” the tenant explained.
Similar complaints are being echoed by other tenants across the complex.
Another family claimed they reported their toilet floods, the air conditioner malfunctions, and floors are damaged, in addition to other health and safety concerns.
“They’re saying they’re going to fix it and they’ll come to our apartment, and they never come,” the neighbor said.
That family said it’s now facing eviction for withholding rent.
Back in the flooded unit, maintenance workers did deliver a wet vac, industrial blowers and a dehumidifier on Monday. The family has been cleaning with bleach and they have fans blowing in nearly every room.
“I’m steady mopping up, washing, constantly because of the leak,” the tenant added.
Most of this family’s property is damaged from contact with the waste and must be thrown out.
“I always feel like this may get me and my kids sick,” the woman said.
Staff for District Three Councilman Casey Thomas has been advised about the neighbors’ issues and concerns. On Monday afternoon, the City of Dallas Code Office sent an inspector to the complex to assess things.
A spokesman with City of Dallas Code Enforcement said a number of violations were found at units in the complex. Some of those concerns will be addressed in 24 hours to the severe nature of the violation. There are additional concerns, structural in nature, that will take some time to remedy.
Estrella at Kiest is working with a public relations firm, The Margulies Communications Group, to address media inquiries about the property. They sent WFAA the following statement Tuesday, Aug. 9:
"Estrella at Kiest is under new ownership and management. The owners are investing millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and property upgrades including remodeling apartments. This has included repairs to the air conditioning system. The emergency maintenance team responded to the apartment mentioned in the story that Sunday to deal with the sewer issue. Management was not aware of the other issues in the apartment which will also be addressed. We will continue to work with our residents to deal with immediate concerns including issues such as water shutoffs as we upgrade this property."