Woman Forced To Leave Unsafe Rental Property

By: Lauren Squires Email
By: Lauren Squires Email

A woman signs an agreement to rent a house that the city says is uninhabitable. She didn't know it until the city inspector stopped by. The landlord tells WOWT that he knew about the problems.

“This place doesn't look like there are any city code violations,” said Aisha Okudi.

That’s how she described the home at 4716 Fontenelle Boulevard.

“We don't think like that, we move in because it seems like a nice place, we don't look underneath,” said Okudi.

She moved into the rental property on April 1st. But more than five months later she got a knock on her door.

“We had no idea that this was even going on,” said Okudi.

City code inspector Kurt Holmstrom sent her a letter on September 27th. It cited plumbing, mechanical and building issues that made the house uninhabitable.

“The fire department had to come out because the carbon monoxide levels were so high, and M.U.D. had to tag the stove,” said Okudi.

WOWT spoke with the landlord, Hien Nguyen, who didn't want to go on camera. He said the last time this house was inspected was September 2011. He said he was aware of the code violations but didn't think they were a big deal, so he rented the property anyway.

Nguyen tells Channel Six he gave back her $650 dollar deposit and didn't charge her rent last month.

“I end up moving out within that time limit,” said Okudi.

Now she lives down the street in a rental property, where a new landlord agreed to let her move in before she paid. They both hoped for assistance from FHA or WCA. But the assistance hasn’t come through and Okudi is being asked to move out, yet again.

“It's very frustrating. I’m moved in and then I have to move,” said Okudi.

Okudi says that the city inspector was familiar with this property and stopped by that September day because he knew the property wasn't safe.

Nguyen says he has since replaced the furnace and he replaced the roof last year. He also tells WOWT that he plans to re-rent the property once it’s back up to code. By the way, this isn't his full time job; he is a fire captain with the Omaha Fire Department.

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