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Families say apartment management ignores them after pipe burst displaces them

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A mother of two on Monday said she and her husband are still without a place to stay more than a day after their apartment flooded.

Alexa Perez and her family were sitting down for lunch on Sunday when water began raining down from the ceiling in her bedroom and bathroom. A pipe had burst in the ceiling above their basement apartment, flooding the entire ground floor.

“We kept on hearing, like thunder, and that’s when we realized that the ceiling had fallen into the room, and all this water was just pouring down,” she said.

Perez said she called the emergency maintenance line for her apartment several times. Around 2 p.m., she said apartment management told her someone was coming but nobody ever showed up. A cleanup crew arrived on Monday but apartment managers still have not responded to repeated inquiries from her and other tenants about temporary housing elsewhere. News 8 saw water damage to at least half a dozen apartments. Neighbors say as many as 10 to 12 families are affected.

Perez said she, her husband and her two children just moved into the apartment a year ago. It is the first apartment of their own they have ever had. She said they have no insurance and lost virtually everything. Moreover, her youngest child has special needs. The family spent Sunday night alternating between their car and a friend’s house.

“When we saw that our little girl was getting more nervous, we decided to just leave and just don’t take out anything else,” she said. “We didn’t have the means of getting anything out of our apartment. We wanted to take care of our kids.”

Perez said this is not the first time the apartment complex has been slow to address maintenance needs. She said it’s common for apartment management to go weeks before even coming out to look at reported maintenance issues, much less work on them. When the pipe broke on Sunday, Perez said she was still waiting for management to fix a heater issue she reported Nov. 9.

“It’s been very devastating,” she said. “With a lot of effort we have found the little bit that we have. Just to lose it in the blink of an eye is, it’s hard.”

The apartment complex they live in, Wellington Village, is managed by Michigan-based Beztak Properties but is “owned by a separate and individual entity,” according to its website. News 8 left messages at both the management office and with Beztak headquarters Monday afternoon and did not hear back.

As of Monday night, the Perez family had arragements to stay with a friend again if necessary but were still looking for other places to stay.