When Keith and Janie Wiley moved into their new apartment on Rutland Drive last year, they got a surprise when they opened the refrigerator, they said. It was crawling with roaches. Then they discovered the bedbugs.
In Northwest Hills, Tabitha Smith said her new apartment in the Oak Hollow complex had a broken dishwasher, a fridge that couldn’t keep food cold and a utility closet caked in mold from a leaking air conditioner. Then it flooded from a plumbing leak.
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Resources for tenants
Austin Tenants Council (helps tenants with housing problems): Call 512-474-7006 for appointments
Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas (helps low-income people find free legal advice and representation): 512-476-5550
What we reported
A Statesman investigation found in August that Austin ranks last among large Texas cities in enforcing laws targeting landlords for code violations. The City Council has since passed an ordinance requiring registration and inspections for repeat offenders.
This story by Dave Harmon and Eric Dexheimer of the Statesman’s investigative team reflects the paper’s consistent focus on public health and safety issues. Harmon has written extensively about problem neighborhoods; Dexheimer reports frequently about gaps in government oversight and regulation.