Landlord responds to issues in home after Cleveland 19 story, family evicted

Landlord responds to issues in home after Cleveland 19 story, family evicted

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The landlord of a home near Cleveland’s East side is responding to accusations that tenants claim they’re living in horrible conditions.

On Wednesday, one family showed Cleveland 19 News the inside of their home. The home is filled with cockroaches, doors are falling off hinges, electrical outlets are exposed, and a furnace is not installed. The unit was rented by the family last spring at East 131st and Shaw.

Michele Lewis said the family was told the issues would be fixed after they moved in.

“We had nowhere to go. This was our last option,” she said.

Lewis’ 9-month-old nephew, Clifton Jr., lived in the home. He’s in the hospital now and Lewis said when he gets released, he won’t be able to come back to his home. His unit has no heat.

“He’s on oxygen. He had stomach surgery. He has so many medical problems,” she said.

In an inspection from the city of Cleveland’s Department of Building and Housing, Cleveland 19 found more than 30 violations.

They include:

  • Porch roof deteriorating
  • No furnace connected to the 2nd floor
  • Cockroach infestation 
  • Bathroom floor deteriorated
  • Toilet that doesn’t flush
  • Exposed electrical conductors 

The landlord, David Hunter, is responding to those claims. He told Cleveland 19 News the family stopped paying rent in August. The family admitted they stopped paying because of the conditions of the home.

Hunter said inspections were done prior to when the family moved into the home in May. He said those inspections passed. The city of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing Division showed no prior inspections in 2018.

The landlord stated the conditions of the home were due to the residents. He also claimed he knew nothing about the broken toilet.

In reference to the second unit with no heat, Hunter stated that the furnace was stolen. He said he filed a police report on Sept. 10. Cleveland 19 has requested a copy of that report. When asked why he didn’t replace the furnace after it was stolen, he stated he didn’t have any money to replace it.

Cleveland 19 requested an on camera interview with Hunter, but were denied that request. Requests were also made for documents showing proof the home was in good and safe condition prior to the family moving in. Hunter also denied access to those documents.

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