MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — For the second time in the past month, the City of Mobile has had to step in and take action at an apartment complex they sued last week for overflowing trash.
The latest issue — not paying the power bill and putting tenants in the dark, leaving them with no cable or internet.
News 5 toured Barrington Park Apartments Wednesday afternoon and the hallway leading into the resident’s apartment door was pitch black. The only light coming in was from boarded-up or broken windows putting the safety of residents at risk. For one woman, it caused her to lose her job.
“I got bills to pay next week, and I didn’t have no internet,” Sherita Donaldson, who lives at Barrington Park Apartments and works from home, said. “That’s the main thing my job does not play about is internet, and I didn’t have none for two days, three, actually. Today, I lost my job; I have no transportation, which is why I got this job.”
News 5 reached out to the City of Mobile, who said they received a notice Wednesday that the power had been disconnected because the owners didn’t pay the bill.
The city said they called Alabama Power to let them know they are already taking legal action against the owners of the complex because of a previous trash problem.
In a statement, the city said “Once they learned that the disconnection could potentially displace dozens of people — including children — through no fault of their own, the power was promptly restored.”
Donaldson lives on the third floor. She said she has had to walk her son through the dark stairs and hallways to the bus stop since Monday.
“We were scared every morning, like I don’t have no type of protection. It’s just me and my son, and on top of it, we have no family, nobody we can turn to depend on, none of that,” Donaldson said. “Like I’m walking him downstairs to where he can get to some light but who finna walk me back upstairs? It’s unsafe.”
Alabama Power trucks were seen around the complex most of the day Wednesday. The power was turned back on around 4 p.m.
However, the issues don’t stop at the trash or the power bill not being paid. We toured other residents’ apartments and saw mold, water-damaged ceilings, wet carpets and swarms of gnats.
“It’s horrible,” Donaldson said. “If these were dogs, we’d be well taken care of.”
News 5 called the complex and got no answer. When News 5 arrived at the complex, the manager appeared to avoid talking and drove off.
She was with maintenance workers at a nearby park. That’s when she made it clear she wasn’t going to speak with WKRG.
“I have neighbors whose apartments are falling apart completely,” Donaldson said. “No one cares.”
Friedman Communities, the owners of Barrington Park Apartments, are at the center of the city’s lawsuit.
In a statement, the city told News 5 they will be “adding the cost of their service to what the owners of Barrington Park Apartments already owe the City of Mobile for unpaid municipal offense tickets, nuisance abatement and garbage services.”