Detroit mother claims mold in home is making her sick, landlord won't fix it

Multiple companies have managed the home, but only one landlord

Photo does not have a caption

DETROIT – A mother in Detroit is living with a problem she said has festered for months inside her home.

That problem is mold. Jeanna Gardner said she has made her landlord aware of it several times with no change.

“It spread and initially it started caving through. It was just pouring out water,” said Gardner.

Gardner invited Local 4 inside her home to see what she claims are moldy conditions, not fit to live in. She first showed Local 4 her living room and then the downstairs bathroom.

“This sink is literally just hanging. It fell on my daughter, my 7-year-old daughter. I got a picture of that too," said Gardner.

The sink wasn't the only problem. Recently she said, there were mushrooms growing on the floor.

“We poured bleach down there and the guy came out and I had to pay $900 for them to spray it. Those are all of the dead mushrooms,” said Gardner.

She showed Local 4 the upstairs bathroom.

“All around the tub, towards the bottom, (mold is) all around there,” said Gardner.

Gardner said the black mold put her daughter in the hospital after black blisters appeared on her skin.

"I wouldn't hear nothing for months, only when they called me for rent payments. So I been holding the rents payment for the last three months, because I'm not going  to keep paying money and I can't even live in my home,” said Gardner.

Since December 2017, multiple companies have managed the home, but there has only been one landlord.

Mellina, with Pleasant Property Management, said she managed the property from April to July 2018.

“I can't force a property owner to fix their property. The only thing I can do is take their concerns to them. I told Ms. Gardner, if she needs me to come to court and testify on her behalf, I would,” said Mellina.

Local 4 spoke with the landlord, Maria Balakrishnan, with MBA Management.

“Larry, we're going to have to have this conversation later, please, if you don't mind. I'll call you back on this number,” said Balakrishnan.

Balakrishnan did call Larry Spruill back. She said her crews have tried to fix the issues, but that her crew wasn't allowed inside. Gardner said that's a lie.

A spokesperson for the city of Detroit issued the following statement:

"We have learned from city officials that the home was inspected in September and issued notices to come into compliance. After a recent follow up inspection it was determined that the home  is still not in compliance and the department of Buildings Safety Engineering and Environmental will be issuing additional tickets today. The only complaint of record the city has is from the current resident."

About the Authors: