MEMPHIS, Tenn. - On Tuesday, many throughout the FOX13 viewing area experienced thunderstorms that led to power loss.
But for some families, a lack of light is the least of their worries.
Memphis resident Katina Davis said a massive tree in her front yard slammed into the home she rents Tuesday evening. It smashed their car, ripped into a child’s bedroom, and she said her landlord isn’t helping as much as she thinks he should.
“She was laying right here in the bed. I had to come out when we heard the noise,” Davis said.
Davis said in the midst of a thunderstorm, a tree she’s been worried about for about a year finally fell – barely missing her child lying in bed.
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“It could have crushed her,” Davis said. “I’m upset because I keep calling him and he never comes to the house. I have to figure it out myself.”
Davis said she’s been calling her landlord to ask about removing the tree for months.
She told FOX13 a branch fell off the same tree in a separate incident that resulted in a smashed windshield, and she wanted it removed then.
“I keep calling and calling, and nobody comes,” she said.
Davis said since she started calling her landlord about the tree smashing into her house last night, he’s been directing her to Prager Property Management – a company based in Atlanta.
She told FOX13 that company then directs her back to her local landlord. After getting the run-around, she turned to FOX13 Investigative Reporter Leah Jordan.
Jordan called both numbers, starting with the Memphis-based landlord. She planned to ask what the plan was for removing the tree and fixing the house, but the landlord said he had no comment, and then hung up on her.
A receptionist at Prager Property Management took Jordan’s name and number and said someone would call her back, but so far, they have not.
Davis said her landlord has told her he’ll remove the tree out of the bedroom, but she will have to remove the tree from the yard.
“He told me once they cut this piece out of here, I have to find someone to cut this tree down. I cannot do that,” Davis said. “This is huge. My money isn’t that huge.”
According to the Memphis Fair Housing Center, landlords must obey all building and housing codes, and they have to keep the premises in a “fit and habitable” condition.
They urge renters to give landlords a written notice of any problems. If the landlord doesn’t cooperate, renters can report the violation to the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Construction Code Enforcement at 901-576-7380.
At that point, an investigation will be conducted, the owner will be notified of problems that need corrected, and they will be given a date by which the repairs must be completed.
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