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Angry Kansas City renters living in apartments reeking of sewage with no hot water

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Drive by the tall, brown apartment building that sits at the corner of 31st and Benton in Kansas City and from the outside everything looks normal.

But if you step inside and talk to Sharon Hall and her neighbors, they’ll tell you they now have a number of health concerns.

“I have big pots. I’m boiling my water at least three times a day just to cook and take baths," Hall told FOX4’s Robert Townsend on Thursday. "It’s just a lot, and I shouldn’t have to live like this. Yes, I’m mad."

Now, in addition to being angry because they have to boil their water, Hall and her neighbors are furious because they said for a year and a half their apartments have also had an awful stench of raw sewage.

The tenants said in October 2016, a water pipe in their building’s basement burst, and as of today, it’s still broken.

Furthermore, the tenants said they’ve repeatedly tried to contact the building’s owner, but so far they just can’t catch up with him.

“Every time we ask him when is he gonna fix it, he keeps telling us, 'I’m gonna fix it. I’m gonna fix it,' and it’s been over a year and a half now, and he still hasn’t fixed it,” said a frustrated Terrie Withers, who’s lived at the apartment building for more than a year.

Withers said she hasn't been so sick in her entire life as she has been since she moved in.

“I have a lot of digestive and heath issues now, and my doctor is still trying to determine if it’s due to the mold in my apartment or the nasty, lingering smell of raw sewage," she said. "I’ve tried to keep my incense lit, but that stench is just too much."

“I come home smelling sewer," Sharon Hall said. "It’s embarrassing for me to have company over. I just want a decent place to live. I deserve that especially since we’re still paying him $400 a month in rent."

Thursday afternoon, FOX4 saw the building’s maintenance man back in the basement pumping out sewage. The worker refused to talk on camera, but he did say “since noon he had been trying to repair the broken water pipe.”

A city spokesman said last year the owner of the apartment building was cited for several code violations. FOX4's Robert Townsend tried to call the the owner, but two of his three phone numbers are disconnected and no one answered the third one.

“I don’t have a choice, but to now move,” Withers said.

“I don’t know when nothing’s gonna be on or fixed around here. We deserve better,” Hall said.