LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- “I think of the five tenants I spoke to today, four of them say they love their units. They’re brand new, beautiful but they’re concerned about the heat,” Josh Kahane said.
“We never said we want to stay in our beautiful apartments because there is nothing new and beautiful about Big Country Chateau lets be honest,” Tange Mix said.
Frustration has continued to grow over the never-ending gas problems at the Big Country Chateau Apartments in Little Rock. For almost two months, some people are still living without gas and there is no timeline on when it will be back on.
The problem started back in September with a gas leak. The gas was shut off and the City of Little Rock cited the property manager for failing to maintain utilities. The property manager pleaded not guilty on October 14th and told our Re’Chelle turner gas would be restored later that week.
Another month passed and the gas was still off at some units. On October 28th, Josh Kahane who is the corporate counsel for the complex asked for more time to fix the issue.
His request was granted.
On Monday, November 4th, Kahane was in court again and pleaded no contest. The judge gave the property management 30 days to fix the gas issue. During Monday’s court hearing Kahane spoke to people about three options. Move to another unit, move out or stay in their current unit without gas. Most of them decided to stay put.
“I’m so frustrated with this process,” Tangie Mix said.
People have been living without gas since September.
On Monday, Josh Kahane who represents the complex pleaded no contest in court. “Our hope is to be able to get everything rectified so the case can be dismissed, Kahane said. Kahane says four occupied units remain without gas.
“I don’t have a timeline. They are working as closely with the city and as quickly as possible to get the gas back on,” Kahane said.
Now, people like Tange Mix are left with a decision to make. They could move to another unit, move out or stay in their current home.
“I rather stay in the unit that I’m in that is bug-free, clean and not a health hazards,” Mix said.
She got the keys to another unit at the complex and quickly changed her mind when she walked through the apartment. “They told me the apartment was clean, they inspected it themselves,” Mix said.
“You could see dirt and debris all in the tub. When I opened the refrigeragtor I gasped at roaches, live roaches and dead roaches crawling around,” Mix said.
“It’s not unexpected that when units are vacant for an extended period of time sometimes things like that happen,” Kahane said.
People said they’re tired of nasty living conditions, not having access to hot water and using their stove to cook.
“I’m going, to be honest, I just feel its because we are black. If we were not black they would not be able to think we would be able to live in substandard living conditions,” Mix said.
Kahane says getting the gas restored is a top priority.
He says the complex was sold about 7 weeks ago to a company based in New York City and they didn’t know about the problem when they purchased the property.
The judge gave the property management 30 days to correct the problem.
The next court hearing is December 16th.
We asked the city what will happen if the gas is not restored by the next court hearing. They told us that it will be completely up to the judge.