Tenants without power after apartment complex fire; management making things difficult
BATON ROUGE - Some tenants are spending another night without electricity in their apartment off S. Flannery Road. The power has been off since a fire sparked there on Friday. Residents are fed up, and contacted 2 On Your Side for help.
George Fountain says the Acadian Place Apartment complex has been his home for more than two years.
"Around 7:30 we were getting ready to take my daughter to school," Fountain said. "We started smelling smoke, went into the laundry room."
An electrical fire from a maintenance room on the first floor spread to upstairs. Smoke billowed from the breaker box. As a result, power to the building has been out.
Fountain says the response from the apartment complex has been minimal. They've asked to move to another unit within the complex, but management isn't making it easy... or cheap.
"They will not let us move unless we pay the transfer fee and a new deposit."
Fountain says he's already been told he won't get his current security deposit back. Now, if he wants to stay, he'll have to fork over an additional $600 plus rent just to move to another unit with electricity.
"It's like they want to get more money from us even though the situation that happened was not our fault."
The lease says in the event of a fire, the leasee has the option to cancel the lease agreement. Fountain knows they'll have to move, but he doesn't think paying all of that $600 is fair.
"The new deposit, I can kind of see that, because it is a new unit. But not the transfer fee. I don't think we should pay both of them for something that isn't our fault."
Fountain says the Red Cross is helping tenants with hotel stays until Thursday. 2 On Your Side contacted the apartment complex, but did not get a response.