CARROLL – Residents at a Town of Carroll trailer park are alleging negligence on the part of their landlord after nearly ten years of issues that are now coming to a head.
Residents of Brookside Estates claim their landlord is committing tax-fraud, operating without a permit and ignoring water and septic safety issues.
Tim Lep and Brandi Bartlow sat down with us to discuss what issues they face in their homes.
“They have trailers in here that are registered to people that are deceased, or to people that don’t live in here, or trailers that are no longer in here,” says Bartlow.
Bartlow also claims that though the county tax-assessor has been made aware of the issues, the assessor says his office could not force the owners to provide an updated list of each lot’s value yearly.
“I can prove, just from the tax assessment sheets that I have, that there has not been any type of reassessment done on any trailer in here in at least ten years,” says Bartlow. “The gentleman that lived in lot sixty-six, he passed away in 2011 and his name is still on the tax assessment sheet.”
Though residents have brought the issue to the Town of Carroll, the supervisor, the county tax-assessor and legislator, violations have been piling up for nearly twenty years.
Lep and Bartlow also disclosed their dire water situation in the trailer court, and that they are still being charged for unusable water.
“I’ve had the water in my home numerous times come out looking like a mud puddle for long periods of time. They would tell me to just let it run, it’ll clear up after a while. Yeah no, no it doesn’t clear up, it just gets worse,” claims Bartlow. “It stains fixtures, it ruins clothes. I’ve replaced my refrigerator, my washer.”
Bartlow, who has a two-month-old, purchases water instead of allowing her child to drink the provided water.
Lep also says that the dirty water has caused many residents to have to replace their hot water tanks.
“She had to replace her hot water tank,” says Lep. “It was a forty-gallon gas, when they went to take it out of there, they went to drain it. Out of a forty-gallon tank they got eight gallons of water and when they went to take it out of there it weighed like five hundred pounds because of all the sediment from the crap just being pumped into the hot water tanks daily.”
They also claim that the original owner knew about the water issues before selling the property, and that this information was given to the buyer, Robert Morgan.
Residents also brought the owners’ lack of permit to operate to attention, saying that without a working sewage and water system, they are not legally allowed to charge rent.
“They have not had a permit for this place since 2012,” says Bartlow. “When we went to court, right before COVID happened, they submitted a post-dated permit for May 9, I think, of 2019. Yeah, they still don’t have that permit.”
Though residents are being charged over four hundred dollars a month to occupy the lot, neither their septic or water systems work properly.
“Did you know we have the number one sewage spill in Chautauqua County right now, right over there in that field,” asks Lep. “A little ways from our three wells, one which has already been shut down because it was contaminated. And we can’t get them to test the other two wells.”
Due to the age of their trailers, Lep and Bartlow are unable to move them to a better location.
Bartlow has filed a civil suit with Carroll Court stating seventy-four violations of negligence.