Tenants: Landlord won't fix moldy walls, sewer

Posted at 5:40 PM, Feb 11, 2016

Residents of a mobile home park in Lake Wales say they are living with moldy walls and holes in the flooring, and nothing is being done to fix it.

Current and former tenants tell ABC Action News that have repeatedly gone to management with the issues, but continue to get blown off.

"Nothing ever got resolved. It got so bad, it got to the point where I had to call code enforcement," said Cindy Phillips, who used to live at the Lake Wales Mobile Home park.  But the day she called code enforcement she says management evicted her.

Lora Donley, who is trying to help some of the frustrated residents, took pictures and video of the property last week and couldn't believe what she witnessed.

"I've never seen anything this deplorable, ever," she said. "Septic tanks that were oozing waste and toilet paper, literally coming out of the ground and there were footprints from someone just walking through there like it was nothing."

Some of the mobile homes are covered with black mold, according to tenants.

"My step dad got so sick he got to the point where he was admitted to the hospital," Phillips said of the mold situation.

Current residents we talked to say anytime you ask for repairs, management blows you off.

Bradley Elam would know, since he used to work in maintenance on the property and still lives there today.

They can see an open sewer pipe coming right out of the commode and they will say, 'OK, we'll fix that next week,' and never do it," he said.

The owner of the mobile home park is Dr. Stephen Chambers of Tampa.

He's living the life on Bayshore Boulevard in a million dollar home that is most likely mold-free.

A representative of his company told me they just became aware of the issues this week and are sending a team out to Lake Wales to assess the station.

But tenants said they have complained for years.

"The man has more than enough money to fix the place and do it right but he doesn't want to," Elam said.

When ABC Action News arrived on property, management immediately told us we were trespassing and ordered us to leave.

Donley got the same reception last week when she tried to snag a few pictures.

"They didn't like the fact that I was taking pictures. They didn't want anyone on the outside knowing what was going on on the inside and now I know why," she said.