Parkville family tangled in heated battle over renter’s insurance after apartment destroyed by fire

PARKVILLE, Mo. -- A Parkville family lost everything when their apartment was destroyed by a fire, and it wasn't until afterward they were told the renter's insurance they'd been paying for didn't exist anymore.

Samantha Stuckey and her family raced out of their home Tuesday night with just the clothes on their backs. The fire started just after 8 p.m. Tuesday in a building in The Links at Parkville apartment community, just south of N.W. 64th Street and west of Highway 9.

Thirteen people, including the Stuckey family, were displaced because of the fire.

On Thursday, she finally went back inside her burnt out apartment.

“You walk in and you’re like, 'Woe,'" she said. "You don’t think it’s gonna look this bad. It’s a lot more of wow or the shock value than anything."

The place that Stuckey, her husband and their three children have called home since last April is now a charred shell. The family’s furniture, clothes and a lot more were all wiped out in the fire.

But the struggles didn't end when the fire did for this metro family.

“I’m angry. I’m upset, but I’m more devastated because we lost everything,” the steaming mom said.

“When we initially moved in, we were told that we had to have mandatory renter's insurance," Stuckey said. "It was gonna be taken out of our rent.”

Stuckey said the $10 payment was included with their monthly rent payment of more than $1,000.

But now, Stuckey said she’s incensed because it wasn’t until the day after the fire that Urban Southwest Capital, the management company of The Links at Parkville, told her the complex no longer offers tenants renter's insurance.

Samantha Stuckey

Current property managers told FOX4 that offering the families renters’ insurance ended on Oct. 12, after they took over the complex from Peak Management Capital in Utah.

“But we weren’t notified that we no longer have renter's insurance, and I’m just wondering why the rent didn’t go down or why we didn’t get a notice," Stuckey said. "If they would have told us, we would have had gone and got our own insurance.”

FOX4’s Robert Townsend asked property manager Storm Bono if he thought Peak Management dropped the ball.

“I would say yeah, and they didn’t leave us much information," he said. "I think if they cancelled the tenants' insurance policies before we took over the complex, then they should have let them know that the polices were cancelled because we don’t require renter's insurance.”

A metro attorney said tenants are probably going to need an attorney's help to resolve the issue.

“I don’t know if the people are necessarily out of luck, but I think they’re gonna have to have an attorney review the situation,” said Russ Ford, a Kansas City tenant/landlord attorney.

Stuckey said she's hopeful her family can get their lives back together, but she knows it will probably take a while.

"If we have to move into another apartment, I will definitely make sure we have renter's insurance," she said.