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Legacy Crossing apartments owner responds to complaints: roaches, bats, mold & more

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 7:08 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Tenants at Legacy Crossing in northwest Omaha say they’re disappointed and fed up with “deplorable” living conditions.

Mice, bats, roaches, mold, sewage issues, faulty pipes, rushed repairs, alleged asbestos, and a continuing list of issues prompted more than one hundred residents to join a Facebook group called “Game Over Legacy Crossing.”

The group was created by a resident looking for an outlet to express herself, connect and provide support for other tenants — and ultimately ensure the property management was held accountable for the problems. Since its creation, it has been a meeting place for residents to post pictures, videos, and comments about their own apartment-related woes.

Tenants at Legacy Crossing in Northwest Omaha say they’re disappointed and fed up with “deplorable” living conditions.
Tenants at Legacy Crossing in Northwest Omaha say they’re disappointed and fed up with “deplorable” living conditions.(WOWT)
Tenants at Legacy Crossing in Northwest Omaha say they’re disappointed and fed up with “deplorable” living conditions.
Tenants at Legacy Crossing in Northwest Omaha say they’re disappointed and fed up with “deplorable” living conditions.
Tenants at Legacy Crossing in Northwest Omaha say they’re disappointed and fed up with “deplorable” living conditions.
Tenants at Legacy Crossing in Northwest Omaha say they’re disappointed and fed up with “deplorable” living conditions.

“The first night that we moved in, we had over 30 roaches,” Aliyana Adams said. She and her husband also said that when they received their keys, property management sprung it on them that they wouldn’t be living in the unit they selected.

The owner of Extermination Omaha told 6-News he did contract to work at the complex in 2015 and found termites, fleas, mold growing from closet ceilings, bugs, and more.

Rita Austin and her roommate, Aaron Gibbs, also shared myriad concerns, saying a neighbor asked them not to use their dishwasher because it was leaking into their apartment. They also had move-in problems and said their screen door would repeatedly fall over.

Gibbs submitted six work orders in one and says none of them were answered. He said the door is still broken — and has a hole in it that allows wasps and gnats to fly inside. Recently, Austin said when she was able to get a maintenance person to come to her home, he told her: “Your foundation is crumbling? That’s why your patio door is coming off: because it’s slanting. It’s crushing inward. All I can do is give you a piece of wood.”

Austin also woke up to bat bites recently which she said “freaked me out. In my three years of renting, I’ve never had bed bugs or anything like this.”

Sewage issues also plagued the pair of friends who said their shower started randomly bubbling over with “black gunk that dried and turned into some sort of ash.”

Sterling Ralston, the owner of Avantic Residential, the parent company that owns Legacy Crossing and several other sprawling apartment communities, in the state responded individually to the issues.

ROACHES: “We contract through a reputable pest control company and treat homes as they request weekly. The sure nature of resident turnover in multi-family housing causes such pests to move from household to household. We are committed to treating apartments as requested by our residents in a manner that is industry acceptable.”

BATS: “As I am sure you are aware bats are a protected species. We are an environmentally conscious organization and rely upon experts in the animal control field to best address problems which in most cases includes catch and release. We are apologetic to residents that may be frightened of these winged friends, however we must all learn how to live with them and the overall environment around us.”

UNANSWERED SERVICE REQUESTS: “We acknowledge that we and several other Property Managers are finding it challenging to catch back up with outstanding service requests. During the early days of COVID, March, April, May, June, and July we felt that in the best interest of our residents and our team members to limit the types of service we would provide. These limitations, while we feel was the right thing to do have resulted in a backlog of uncompleted non-life safety service requests. We continue to make progress on clearing this back log and ask residents to be patient with our response times."

UNFAIR LATE PAYMENT CHARGES: “We, as all Landlords have been regulated on when and how much we can charge in late fees due to the pandemic. We assure you that we are following guidelines from a local attorney. We have also gone above and beyond on this matter offering up to a 15% discount on rental payments to assist our residents in this very difficult time. In addition, we have published a list of resources to all residents on what organization can help them with their rental payment in the community.”

PLUMBING ISSUES: “As with any community of this age, we have our share of plumbing related issues and resolve them on a case by case basis.”

Ralston added:

"Legacy Crossing is a challenging property that we strive to improve. Our plan upon purchase was to renovate both apartment interiors and exterior to revitalize the community. Unfortunately, acts of the weather in subsequent years required additional work on the community that was not planned for, thus exhausting funding for this revitalization.

“We are currently working on a plan to refinance the community to allow planned improvements to continue. We hope to finalize and announce our plans in the upcoming near term. We are confident that this plan will address and rectify the areas in which residents are most concerned about and provide another option for cost-effective quality housing in the Omaha market.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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