KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When you search online for Stonegate Meadows Apartments in Kansas City, you’ll find rental listings showcasing clean, functional apartments.
But after Problem Solvers received at least five complaints in November and December from tenants regarding broken fire alarms, mice and roach infestations, water leaking through the ceilings, no heat and no hot water, we decided to pay them a visit.
What we found is that the photos Elite Management Group, the company that owns Stonegate Meadows, shows online and the reality we saw are far apart.
“Y’all say you want us to pay rent every month on time but our maintenance stuff needs to be up to par,” tenant Sedric Jones said.
After a fire in April that left 15 people hospitalized, Jones said it’s pitiful that management still hasn’t installed functional smoke detectors.
“The fire alarms, we don’t even got one in the hallway,” he said. “Like, this whole building don’t got no fire alarms, so especially in case of a fire, you won’t hear it unless you got one inside your apartment.”
FOX4 Problem Solvers called the leasing office at least three times, but never received a call back.
When Problem Solvers visited the property, we were confronted by a security guard who said management does not want to speak with us. We were asked to leave.
“That’s the main thing,” Jones said. “We need to have our smoke detectors charged up, you know, just like that one fire that happened over there. They didn’t have no kind of response on what was going on ’cause there’s no smoke detectors. So they really need to get their fire stuff figured out over here for our safety.”
Jones said he’s mostly concerned for the safety of his wife and four children, having evacuated the building just a week ago after his neighbors alerted them of smoke in the building.
“The firefighter said it was the hot water tank (smoking), so they ended up having to disconnect that and then they let us come back up to our apartments,” he said.
Along with smoke detectors that beep nonstop and never seem to receive new batteries, residents said they’ve been without hot water for over a week now.
“It’s all cold,” Jones said. “It’s all cold water.”
Tonick Nevels, another tenant living at Stonegate Meadows, said she’s been without heat in her apartment for nearly three weeks. It became so cold in her apartment last week that ice began forming on the inside of her windows, she said.
“I’m paying $875,” she said. “I’m good, but if y’all aren’t fixing nothing and whatever, I’m over it.”
Nevels said she’s also concerned about the smoke detectors, with only one working fire alarm in the hallway leading to her bedroom.
“(The health department) said I’m only required for one (fire alarm) over here, but if it’s a fire, how will all of us know from (just) one?” she said. “You know, ’cause I don’t hear nothing in the back (bedroom).”
Edwin Lowndes, executive director at the Housing Authority of Kansas City, said they are aware of a number of issues at Stonegate Meadows and are working with property managers to address them.
“The most significant issue that has recently arisen is with water service,” he said. “They suffered waterline breaks in the recent cold weather. These have been repaired. We periodically get other complaints; but the management has been responsive.”
But Jones said management never actually fixes things, but rather acts like they’re going to and then never do.
“It’s irritating because you can’t wash dishes, you can’t flush the toilet stool, and it’s just stuff like that that you shouldn’t have to go through,” Jones said.
He said he’s struggling to keep him and his four children bathed.
“I tried to wash dishes the other day, and I gotta get the stove, get my little water thing here and heat it up, come over and put it in the sink,” he said. “It’s just, like, ridiculous. You shouldn’t be having to go through all this.”