KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s no sugarcoating it: Teola Powell’s house is a mess.
“Where they took windows out, they didn’t even board them up all the way,” Powell, a Kansas City resident, said.
In August 2021, she hired a company called MAG Properties, a division of MAG Spaces, to remodel the home she’s owned for nearly 30 years and where she raised her family.
She planned to sell it once it was remodeled, but she says the goal seems less reachable with each passing month.
“After I came out here and the brick had fallen off the front of my house, and all these things, I’m saying, ‘Am I even going to have a house left?” Powell said.
The project was supposed to be completed by September 2021. But almost two years later, piles of brick, gravel and the debris of what was once a happy home are all that’s left.
Workers, who were supposedly reinforcing her basement, removed so much dirt and rock before abandoning the job that you can see into the basement from the outside.
“After they stabilized the basement, they were going to rehab the upstairs, have hardwood floors in there, so they would have sanded them and redid them,” Powell said.
“Also, they were going to remodel the kitchen, you know, upgrade it, make it where it would be enticing to be sold.”
But Powell says that didn’t happen.
She said workers would arrive one day only to disappear a few days later.
“I don’t know how many contractors she went through but here we are today and nothing has been done other than tearing up my property,” she said.
Powell said MAG Properties, which operates out of a building on East 72nd Street near Prospect Avenue, was given a $24,000 deposit to begin the project.
The remainder would be due upon sale of the home, according to the terms in her contract.
“They gave me a really good deal because part of the agreement was after they got it remodeled, they wanted to use pictures and such in their portfolio for their business,” Powell said.
Powell said the head of MAG Spaces and MAG Properties, Deneen Weathersby, kept coming up with excuses as to why no work was being done, often blaming a bad contractor and promising that a new one would be starting soon.
After more than a year of waiting, Powell hired an attorney and is suing the company, as well as Weathersby.
In a court filing, MAG Properties blames Powell, saying it was mislead about the condition of the property. It also accused Powell of failing to provide water and electricity, preventing employees from working on the site.
But Problem Solvers talked to three former employees of the company who told FOX4 Weathersby is notorious for hiring unskilled workers off the street and refuses to pay them at times.
One man FOX4 spoke with said he is sickened by the condition of Powell’s property. The former employees have agreed to testify against MAG Properties and their former boss in court.
Problem Solvers tried calling Weathersby to get her side, but two weeks went by and we never heard a word.
FOX4 did some digging and discovered we aren’t the only ones looking for Weathersby.
She owes the state of Wisconsin more than $400,000 in back taxes.
Problem Solvers finally made contact with Weathersby in the parking lot of her business, but she said she’s had been advised not to comment.
Powell, on the other hand, refuses to remain silent.
“You made a deal with me,” she said. “How many other people will you hurt? I felt the public needed to know what type of business it is.”
Although she’s hopeful she’ll get her money back in court, she said she wants to warn others about what can happen if you trust the wrong company.
The court proceeding is set to begin in September. Problem Solvers will update you as we learn more.