Landlord leaves Canton woman without heat or water pressure for five months in Stark Co. apartment

Stark Metro Housing Authority trying to help

CANTON, Ohio - Bridget Hill has spent most of the past five months living at her daughter's home. Her Canton apartment has been deemed uninhabitable because of a broken furnace and low water pressure.

Hill's apartment is being provided by the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority, which has been trying to get the apartment owner to fix all problems at the unit since April.

Hill contacted NewsChannel5 after seeing few results over the past five months.

"I'm very disgusted. I'm very frustrated and I'm at the end of my rope and so that's why I called you," said Hill.

"It's been a back and forth battle just to be able to wash my dishes or wash my body. I want just the basics. I'm not asking for them to come and do anything that's not mandatory."

Hill told NewsChannel5 she's pleased with the housing authorities' efforts, but at the same time, she doesn't understand how apartment owner John Sprinkle can continue to be paid by the housing authority while she deals with no heat and low water pressure.

"Actually the inspectors gave him a 30-day extension. I thought that was ridiculous. It was a ridiculous amount of time," said Hill. "We're five months later, still we don't have these things fixed in five months. It doesn't take five months to get repairs done."

Hill admits she missed two housing authority apartment inspections, but said that shouldn't have an impact on forcing the landlord to do the right thing."

NewsChannel5 contacted landlord John Sprinkle, and he responded immediately. Sprinkle told 5 On Your Side he's made attempts to repair problems at Hill's apartment, but he claims Hill hasn't been cooperative.

"I sent a contractor to her apartment, but she wouldn't let him in," said Sprinkle. "I will try again."

Sprinkle pledged to bring contractors to the unit on Oct. 23 to insure all repairs are made once and for all.

The Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority also responded to our story and told NewsChannel5 it will stop payments to Sprinkle if repairs aren't made within the next week.

Tenants who are dealing with landlord problems can contact their landlord tenants association, housing authority, or their city housing court for guidance.

Tenants should not withhold rent in an effort to force landlords into compliance, instead they should turn to housing court, which can set up an escrow account and stop payments to the landlord until all code violations are satisfied.

Meanwhile, Hill is now cautiously optimistic that she'll soon be able to move back into her apartment.

"I'll have to wait and see what happens," said Hill with sigh. "My landlord has promised before, but I will do everything I can to work with him."

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