Heatherfield Apartment residents feel living conditions are uninhabitable

Tenants at the Heatherfield Apartments say their building is uninhabitable and are asking their local leaders for help.
Published: Sep. 3, 2023 at 1:15 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - People living at a Shively apartment complex may take legal action as they feel they’re being neglected by their property owner.

From black mold, roach and mice infestations to unevenly increased rent for tenants, people at the Heatherfield Apartments are calling on Black Swan Holdings to make a change.

“They need to step up,” Heatherfield resident Deborah Slater said. “And they need to comply with what’s going on for the health and well-being of the tenants that live here.”

Slater believes the conditions at the Heatherfield Apartments in Shively are a health hazard.

Mold, backed-up sewage and even roaches roam the grounds with the tenants.

“There’s elderly people here with upper respiratory and heart conditions,” Slater said. “The building has gone down, and they’re not maintaining or keeping up with the AC units or the exterminating.”

On top of all the issues they face, tenants said their rent is also going up.

Black Swan Holdings took over the property in March, and Slater said she has seen her rent go up $150 since April.

One tenant said the property canceled her agreement after she signed to once again increase her rent and added new costs that were supposed to be included in the rent.

With no real changes except a new coat of paint and flooring for certain apartments, the tenants don’t feel the increase is appropriate.

“It shouldn’t be a big increase if nothing is being changed in these apartments, you know what I mean?” Heatherfield Apartment resident Aaron Bullard said. “For a big increase, I can see if you go in there and remodel the apartments and actually go and put work into the apartments, but if you’re not putting anything into the apartments then I feel like everyone’s rent shouldn’t go up.”

Bullard showed WAVE News his apartment with mousetraps, more mold and rotten floorboards left on his balcony by maintenance to never be picked up again.

He said he had to contact his elected officials when he said the company blocked his number.

A company based out of Ohio with no property manager on site or nearby.

District 1 Metro Council member Tammy Hawkins said when she received the call about the conditions, she knew she had to see for herself and speak up for those who feel they don’t have a voice.

“To not be visual, to not be reachable, that’s a problem, that’s a huge problem,” Hawkins said. “There’s a lack of access in the entire city.”

Hawkins along with Hardin County realtor Stacy Harris, who helps people find suitable properties in times of need with her nonprofit Shiloh City of Peace, said they won’t back down from those looking to take advantage of others.

“Nothing will ever change,” Harris said. “You have to stand up for what’s right, we have to do what’s right and that’s why I came out today.”

Tenants said Black Swan is just one of the many property owners that have taken over in the last year. The way they’ve been treated has made them consider buying the property outright themselves since they said they already take care of the property.

Residents also told WAVE News that there is no on-site manager they can connect with and most contact is made online, access that not everyone has.

Complaints of stolen cars and drug activity have also been documented by residents, and they said they hope legislators will hold property managers more accountable moving forward.

When asked what they want to see happen next, the people at the Heatherfield Apartment complex said they want the property owners to take care of the building, or they will take steps to take ownership of the building themselves.