Tenants on the ground floor of an apartment complex in southwest Oak Cliff awoke on Sunday to “a foul odor and flooding” from a raw sewage leak that covered their entire floors.
“My whole room flooded. You’re talking about something sitting in feces,” complained a tenant.
“I always feel like this may get me and my kids sick,” another tenant said. The human waste leak contaminated the majority of her family’s property.
One family who lives in a ground floor unit said they believed one of the building’s pipes had broken, causing the sewage to flood.
“It started coming up from the rim of the toilet,” stated another tenant.
Whatever the source of the flooding was, there was human waste seeping through walls and circulating into apartments. Another tenant said the flooding was so bad, she had to leave her home because the conditions were toxic and harmful.
“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 said. She added that the management did not respond for hours.
Three similar leaks, as well as broken air conditioner units, have plagued the apartment building over the past several months, said the family. However, property management and maintenance gave little to no indication of fixing these issues.
“They come out. They tweak it a little bit, but it never lasts long,” said the tenant.
“They’re saying they’re going to fix it, and they’ll come to our apartment, but they never come,” the neighbor said.
A different family also said they reported problems to maintenance. Toilets flooding, air conditioner problems, and damaged floors were only a few reports made, as well as other health concerns. That family said they currently face eviction for withholding rent.
Estrella at Kiest, located at 4542 W. Kiest Blvd. in Dallas, charges $932 to $1,350 for monthly rent, varying by apartment size. Their rating on Google Reviews is 2.5 stars, with 111 reviewers.
Reviewers consistently mention problems with management. One wrote, “Maintenance doesn’t fix things because sometimes there is no maintenance.”
Casey Thomas, the councilman for District 3, was advised regarding the tenants’ concerns and problems.
The City of Dallas code enforcement office sent an inspector to the apartment complex on Monday. A spokesman for the office stated that a number of violations were found.
Estrella at Kiest sent WFFA a statement on Tuesday, August 9, stating that the apartment complex was under new ownership and management. “The owners are investing millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and property upgrades, including remodeling apartments.”
Repairs to the air conditioning system were included in those efforts, the statement said. It claimed that “the emergency maintenance team responded to the apartment” that suffered sewage flooding on Sunday but did not mention the other tenant’ complaints. It also claimed “management was not aware of the other issues in the apartment.”
It promised those issues would also be addressed. Furthermore, the statement claimed, “We will continue to work with our residents to deal with immediate concerns including issues such as water shutoffs as we upgrade this property.”