Mushrooms and mold attack Medina County business; Landlord fails to respond to roof leaks

Building owner aware of water problems for years

VALLEY CITY, Ohio - For more than 15 years, Duane Filley has enjoyed repairing vehicles at his Medina County shop in Valley City, but now he's worried that flooding, black mold and mushrooms will hurt his health and his business.

Filley told NewsChannel5 he's repeatedly asked his landlord to take care of roof leaks and flooding at Valley Autoworks Inc. for the past two years, but not enough has been done. Filley reports he's made numerous clean-up attempts at the building, but he's been unable to stop mushrooms and black mold from growing in his offices.

"When we have a heavy rain, as you can see at the back of my shop, the water runs in through the back and floods the shop," Filley said. "When it's really bad, it floods and carries into the front part of the shop."

Filley claims he's contacted the Medina County Health Department, but it has done little to help.

He's pleased with the building and enjoys the location, but he's worried if something isn't done soon it will jeopardize his health and the well-being of his customers and employees.

Filley told 5 On Your Side his landlord tried to dig a small trench at the back of the property to stop the flooding, but water just keeps attacking the walls and the buildings metal roof.

"He's been reminded about a roof leak now for a number of years," Filley said. "I pay my rent in person, I remind his secretary when I go there the roof is still leaking leave him a note. She sits at her computer and types in a note and I get no phone call, he never stops by. He doesn't go up and look at it. I don't know what more to do.."

NewsChannel5 contacted the building owner and the Medina County Health Department about the flooding problems at Valley Autoworks, in search of some answers.

Tenants can call building and health inspectors to their rental property if they feel conditions are potentially hazardous and if they're not pleased with their landlords response.

If building code violations are found at a property, tenants can take the case to housing court and place their rent payments in an escrow account. The court will hold the rent and not release those dollars until all health and safety violations are solved.

Tenants should not withhold rent, without first taking the case to court.

Meanwhile, Filley is just hoping some changes will be made soon.

"I'm tired of dealing with mold and mushrooms," Filley said. "You get your rent all the time and all I'm asking for is some maintenance that needs to be done on this building, please."

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