Members of the Louisville Tenants Union gathered outside The Puritan, an apartment complex that caters to people in their golden years and is managed by Beacon Properties. They expressed concerns about the Rowan Street Apartments, a sister complex in the West End that is also managed by Beacon. While doing so, what appeared to be some employees and as well as some residents from The Puritan came out to check out what was happening. Their reactions were quite different.
The two employees that emerged appeared to have scoffed at the group of tenants, smirking as they watched. A representative from the union attempted to open a discord with them, but we are unaware what was said. Even though members of the union had already cleared a path to ensure residents could access the wheelchair ramp, one of the emplpyees felt it was necessary to also ask that the union have their bus that was legally parked be moved. This bus was used to transport the elderly residents from the West End to this event.
The two presumed employees. One of which asked the Tenants Union to move their bus.
Residents of The Puritan seems to be concerned and offer condolences. Once the press conference was over, we spoke with a couple tenants of The Puritan as well. They have requested to remain anonymous but reported that even this building has issues with mice and improper maintenance to deteriorating apartments.
The demand below were issued to Travis Yates, CEO of Beacon Property. This comes shortly after a recent victory in the fight against slumlords, where The Louisville Tenants Union marched and presented a similar agreement to New Directions, an additional complex once managed by this company. They then leveraged Metro Council to vote on the removal of Beacon as the property manager. Beacon stepped down before the vote was tallied.
Louisville Tenants Union Release
As they prepare to gather friends and family to celebrate the Holidays, Rowan Apartments residents hope their varied maintenance problems with Beacon Properties don’t ruin the holiday. Complaints of flooding, water damage, mold and broken appliances have gone unanswered by Beacon CEO Travis Yates, forcing residents to rally in front of Beacon Properties offices at 1244 South 4th Street.
Over 35 tenants have expressed concerns about a lack of maintenance, mismanagement and mistreatment in the Rowan Apartments since Beacon Properties took over ownership. Last week, Beacon Properties owner Travis Yates told residents that their maintenance issues were “too expensive” to repair.
“It seemed like everytime I went out of town, I came home to a bathtub full of feces and waste. And this happened over and over and over again. When I came home this last Memorial Day the smell was so foul. I did what I could. I stayed with my daughter, I stayed with neighbors. I put blankets and plastic in front of the door. I ran a fan. I burned candles. But I couldn’t stop the smell. I called Beacon Properties multiple times and asked for help to stay in a hotel and they told me that they couldn't afford a hotel.” - Ms Clara Fortson.
“On Sunday October 16th, I woke to the sound of a loud pop and thought there was a car wreck outside and went back to sleep. When I woke I went to the bathroom and stepped in 4 inches of water. I grabbed some towels but realized that there was a leak behind the wall. The leak had been gushing for 2 hours and there was water above my ankles. I couldn't believe that Beacon expected me to stay in that apartment when everything was soaking wet. The apartment stinks and my health has gotten much worse since this happened. I am steadily throwing things away because so much of what I owned was ruined. I requested an air quality test over a month ago, and Beacon performed one, but I am still waiting on the results.” Ms Donna Goldsmith
Here is our previous interview with Ms. Donna Goldsmith.
The fair leases that tenants drafted guarantee that:
• Beacon must provide a 24 hour maintenance report line, including weekends and holidays for emergencies that require immediate attention.
• In the event of a hazardous or life-threatening maintenance issue, Beacon must provide tenants with a safe place to stay until resolved or until end of lease term
• Maintenance must initiate repair at least 48 hours after initial report; 24 hrs in the event of an emergency maintenance issue or sooner if necessitated by the circumstances.
• And no repair will be considered complete until the tenant has signed off on a work-order form, verifying that the repair was done to the tenant’s satisfaction.
The Louisville Tenants Union is an independent, multi-racial and multi-generational organization fighting to make housing a human right and end evictions. LTU is tenant-led and tenant-run and seeks to bring tenants together through their shared interests as a class. They can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Instagram at @louisvilletenants, on Twitter at @LouTenantsUnion, and on Facebook