Kristine Pisani said her toilet troubles started in March.
“Discharge from the toilets went all the way into our bathroom tub," said Pisani.
She said that when the property management company, Up Realty, didn’t respond to her work order, she called a plumber herself. Nearly eight months and more than $800 later, Pisani said she’s still fighting with Up Realty to get the toilet fixed.
“We had to self-declog it and that was rather disgusting,” said Pisani, who estimated both of her toilets clog three times per month.
Outside Up Realty’s office in East Hartford, Jean Torres described a similar experience at her New Britain apartment, also managed by Up Realty.
“My water from the toilet came out into the kitchen,” she recalled.
Torres said it took several months and a call to the city before Up Realty sent someone to make the repairs.
“I got a lot of problems with them, a lot of problems,” said Torres.
Seven section 8 tenants live in Wedgewood Apartments. A spokesperson for Imagineers, the agency that oversees that voucher program says the rent to two of those units was abated for violations that weren’t fixed within 30 days including a toilet that didn’t flush properly.
On Thursday, town building officials were onsite after residents in a different building in the complex complained of wobbly railings and a hole in the roof and ceiling that had gone unrepaired for more than three weeks.
“Nothing gets done. You call the office. You complain. Nobody gets back to you, nobody says anything,” said tenant Jacqueline Massey-Greene on Wednesday.
Massey-Greene also pointed out that the intercom system in her building hasn't worked in a year and that residents have to walk to the front door to let guests in the building, a hardship for the elderly and disabled who live there.
Meanwhile, a tenant in another building said she had a problem with mice in her apartment.
Arba Equities purchased several properties in April of 2020.
Property Manager Daysha James told NBC Connecticut that more than a million dollars has been poured into improvements at Wedgewood Apartments, including new windows, siding, roofs and parking lots.
Pisani said she wishes they would spend as much time and money on the inside of the apartments.
“Those things, I’m sorry, should not go neglected. You still should pay attention to your residents and value them, but still take care of what you need to on the property,” she said.
James said that Up Realty manages around a dozen properties in several communities, including Bloomfield, Waterbury and New Britain and that more properties means more work orders.
She said she feels they’ve been responsive to their tenants, especially considering so many units were in disrepair when the properties were purchased.
However, she admitted that the time it’s taken to get a hole in a roof at Wedgewood Apartments repaired is unacceptable. She said that complaint simply “fell through the cracks.”
Pisani said she’s had other issues in her apartment including mold and insects.
She said she was horrified to discover ants crawling in her daughter’s crib.
“I found them crawling on her pajamas, on her face somewhere right by her eye, and on her neck,” she said.
Arelys Morales said she put $1,300 down for a duplex in New Britain back in October.
“It did not pass inspection, they had so many work to do, but this was two months ago,” said her brother translating for her.
He said she found a new place to live and that she has been trying for three weeks to get her money back.
“It’s frustrating cause they had the deposit for two months already, they could have fixed the house for two months. Two months for them to fix it and now all of sudden, she’s got everything packed up in her apartment,” he said.
Meanwhile, work on the roof of the Wedgewood apartment building was delayed a day due to snow on the roof, according to James. She said she expects crews to be able to finish the job on Friday.