13 Investigates


Family forced to eat outside after partial ceiling collapse at North Las Vegas apartment

Posted at 12:34 PM, Jan 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 19:13:45-05

Several people are at odds with their landlord at a North Las Vegas apartment after a partial ceiling collapse and a growing list of maintenance complaints.

Angie Martinez showed Contact 13 around her apartment near Cheyenne and I-15. Inside, there were drenched towels covering the floors, buckets in the kitchen to catch water dripping from the ceiling and cabinets, and wet drywall covering the bathroom floor.

"I'm not planning to stay here tonight, I have my kids and to be honest I don't feel safe," said Martinez.

The tenants claim, the issues are so bad, they have a table set up outside to enjoy their meals.

Contact 13 spoke to other tenants with even more complaints.

"You guys can check my roof, there's holes in the walls, the plumbing is bad," said Guadalupe Navarret.

"My stove does not work. When I touch my sink it gives me [shocks,]" said Lilly Martinez.

Contact 13 was shown several text messages, some date back to December, which shows tenants alerting the landlord about the troubles.

Nevada law requires some repairs to be made within 14 days of written notification. Urgent repairs, considered essential services, such as heating, plumbing, air conditioning, running water, must be addressed within 48 hours.

"He charges us the late fees, but he never comes to fix anything," said Martinez.

"He doesn't fully fix it, he said he's going to Home Depot and he never comes back," added Navarrete.

Contact 13 tried to track down the supposed owner of the property, "David," but a call was not returned. We saw a text message from the tenant to David from December 6, 2017.Tenants say shortly after the call, a maintenance man showed up.

"No, David is the owner, I'm just a maintenance guy," said Elvis Garcia. "If he calls me, I come right away if it's an emergency, I'm here," he added.

Elvis blames the problems on a miscommunication and promised quick action after Contact 13 got involved.

When asked how long the repairs will take, "One day," replied Garcia. "We can fix in one day."

"All of this work? The holes in the roof, the leaking ceiling?" asked Joe Bartels.

"We have a team of like four guys," said Garcia.

For now, the families say they are going to exercise their legal rights and withhold rent until the repairs are made.

A North Las Vegas spokesperson says code enforcement visited the property on Tuesday.

Inspectors gave the landlord a 5-day order to comply with some of the repairs. City inspectors were promised the work would be complete sooner than the 5-day deadline.

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