NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A woman living at Clements Arms Apartments in North Charleston says that she is not getting the support she needs after part of her ceiling caved in.
The tenant says she expected a quicker response from the apartment management.
She says she was at work, when she got the call:
“I got a call from my fiance saying, come home now, the ceiling has collapsed.”Brittany, Clement Arms Apartments resident
When she arrived home Monday afternoon, she found her bedroom covered in sheetrock:
“I actually had to cover my face with a t-shirt, and it was so bad, I came outside after seeing everything and I was coughing and vomiting… it was so bad.”Brittany, Clement Arms Apartments resident
No one was hurt, partially because the couple recently moved their mattress from the bedroom to the living room not long ago to escape what the tenant described as a pest infestation:
“If it would have collapsed any of those other nights, while he is at work, we would have been found the next morning probably gone.”Brittany, Clement Arms Apartments resident
Now, a day later, the tenant is questioning whether the management of the Apartment building, is acting quickly enough:
“We contacted them three times, about the fourth time, is when we finally got ahold of them.”Brittany, Clement Arms Apartments resident
The property manager, Daryl Shorter, says they are doing everything they can. A statement sent to News 2 reads in part:
“A crew was dispatched to the property within an hour, cleaning up the debris and removing the damaged sheetrock…that crew returned today to remove old attic insulation and prep the ceiling to be replaced.”Statement from the property manager of Clement Arms Apartments
Brittany told News 2 she tried to get a hotel room last night, but was not offered any financial help.
The property manager say rent is pro-rated if tenants can’t live inside their home, and encourages residents to get renter’s insurance in case of accidents, or disasters.
We asked the property manager about the collapse (which we initially erroneously referred to as a ‘roof’ collapse), the response time, communication with residents, support for those impacted, and other general cosmetic queries.
You can read Shorter’s full statement below:
Thank you for your email. We have managed Clement Arms Apartments in North Charleston for a private investor since November of 2017. I personally received several phone calls from residents living in one of the “E” building apartments yesterday at 4:48pm, regarding a portion of the ceiling that fell in a bedroom. A crew was dispatched to the property within an hour, cleaning up the debris and removing the damaged sheetrock. Photos I was provided by the on-site crew did not illustrate any issues with the roof or attic. That crew returned today to remove old attic insulation and prep the ceiling to be replaced.
As to your specific inquiries below, when residents sign a lease agreement with our office, they are given our contact information, which includes an after-hours emergency number which was used to report yesterday’s issue. To be clear, you are referring to a roof collapse. The roof did not collapse, as evidenced with the attached photos taken by a crew that was there last night. I am unaware of anyone from my office advising the residents that cleanup would be their responsibility. Again, the crew we sent to the home is addressing cleanup and repairs.
In response to your question 5, we are addressing all necessary repairs as they are reported to us or found during our visits to the property. Cosmetic issues are strictly at the owner’s discretion. Our residents have a variety of ways to report repair issues to our office, including via phone and online through our website or in-person during our routine inspection visits. Residents are always encouraged to submit a repair request, including pest issues in writing to our office, to maintain a paper trail.
Per the lease agreement, rent is pro-rated in the event a resident is unable to use a home in its entirety or any portion during occupancy. Residents are also strongly encouraged to obtain renter’s insurance, which is their protection in the event personal possessions are damaged or destroyed due to unforeseen circumstances during occupancy. Hanna, I hope this answers any concerns you may have.