KC single mom out thousands after renting salon where she later discovered mold

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A single mom is out $2,000 and will have to pay more if she hopes to get her money back.

Makeup artist and stylist Mary Zemenye drove down 31st Street in October and saw the perfect little white building.

“I’m just a young entrepreneur," she said. "I was trying to rent this building to start my own business.”

The new space promised more room than her current salon. She put down a deposit and a couple months’ rent.

Mary Zemenye

“Once I finally got the keys and everything was cleared out, I explained to [the building owner] that there was mold on the wall, and he was like, ‘Oh you could just paint over it,’” Zemenye said.

The single mother said she didn’t see the mold during the walk-through because of the furniture that lined the walls.

“I told him I still want the building if you’re willing to fix everything in here," she said. "Three days go by and I didn’t hear anything.”

Zemenye said she called the owner many times for several weeks, even from different phone numbers.

“I can’t do anything with a hazardous building," she said. "I can’t do anything with mold. I can’t knock out these walls and replace these walls. That was not part of the agreement."

She filed against him in Jackson County and had a court date last week, but she said the sheriff’s office can’t find him to serve him papers.

“I’ve given them four addresses," Zemenye said. "Basically, I think he’s ducking and dodging. I’ve sent certified mail, nothing.”

She said she’s already paid the $36 fee twice, and the courts have asked her to pay it again to get the owner served again.

FOX4 called, left a voicemail and sent a text message to the building owner but have not heard back. The address listed for him is the same as the building Zemenye tried to rent.

“It’s just not legit, you know? He’s just not a legitimate person," she said.

The young mom said she believes success is measured by how you handle the ups and the downs. She called this situation a setback but said she’ll keep focused on her business-owning, hard-working, single-mom dream.

Pointing to the building with a smile, Zemenye said, “This obviously wasn’t the place for me, but there will be!”