Update by user Aug 22
American Homes 4 Rent has done NOTHING to help resolve this issue. They are destroying families across the country!
Original review posted by user Jul 23
We have sent a demand letter. Filed complaints with Texas agencies and the BBB. We intend to pursue this until justice is served.
On or about October 15, 2016, the following unfair, deceptive, and destructive acts began and continue to present day. Our release from our AH4R lease and departure from 5414 Flax Bourton St., Humble, TX 77346 occurred in August 2017:
A brief timeline of events:
• We detected a leak in the ceiling below the Master bedroom & bath back in Oct. 2016
• We reported it and the mold growth over 200 times through documented email, AH4R online reporting method portal, texts & calls (the Vice President of Legal verified this at American Homes For Rent)
• Initially, we were told by AH4R that it was condensation and not a leak.
• We persisted with the AH4R maintenance portal, emails, texts, and photos.
• Then we were told it was cosmetic.
• We continued to persist with reporting via the AH4R maintenance portal, emails, texts, and photos.
• AH4R did not send their first vendor until 2017 who only replaced the drywall and did nothing about the leak. We continued to report the activity of this vendor and that the problem was not taken care of.
• Mold quickly returned and grew, and we continued to call, text, email and submit more "maintenance requests" through their online portal
• Several vendors were sent out over a period of several months...all were ineffective...they continued to paint over the problem area…we continued our communication
• We reported the activity and our concerns of every vendor.
• We have five children including an infant who was born in March 2017
• They all began having mold-related symptoms: nosebleeds, difficulty breathing, fevers, gum bleeding, nausea, weakness, lethargy, headaches, etc.
• We continued to demand something be done - it was now July 2017
• They sent out a TX licensed Mold Remediation Agent - she tested the whole house. She would not enter the property without being fully geared with breathing apparatus. She would not tell us the results of her test because the AH4R hired her. However, because my wife, Jamie, was holding our baby and crying about protecting her children, she did tell us that all the items in the garage were destroyed and that we should not be present in the home because it was dangerous.
• We notified AH4R again that we needed out of the house, but because I worked for a non-profit ministry, we needed AH4R to fix this dangerous living situation they caused by their ineffective behavior. Initially, they declined. We took up residence in a hotel at our own expense.
• We complained to American Homes For Rent and the VP of Legal and said we needed to be relocated until the matter was solved but would not financially support this decision.
• Early Aug. 2017 The VP of Legal would not share the mold report and stated that the house was safe.
• I am the director of a non-profit and a lawyer on our board, Cornelius Hayes, stepped in to help me. He contacted the VP and AH4R immediately put us up in a hotel for over a month.
• After the VP of Legal for AH4R reviewed our case, she apologized for the lack of support we had received and acknowledged that our repeated and exhaustive communications since Oct. 2016 had not been dealt with properly.
• We hired our own Mold Remediation Agent who did a report and said the house was indeed dangerous along with the contents and deemed the house uninhabitable.
• We reported the situation to the Harris County Housing Authority & Fair Housing.
• We reported the situation to the County and City Health Department.
• We reported the situation to the Better Business Bureau.
• We were advised by agencies, legal counsel, the Texas State Mold Remediation Agent, and others that we could not return to live in these dangerous conditions. That this toxic black mold was hazardous to our health.
• We then set up a report and complaint with the Texas Attorney General & Consumer Protection Division.
• We sent the Texas State Certified Mold Remediation Report we paid for to the VP of Legal at AH4R in August 2017.
• We also sent an itemization of belongings that were destroyed and could not be replaced.
• We also sent a quote from an Environmental Cleaning Company who could clean some of our possessions and return them to us.
• We asked that AH4R correct their wrong and try to make right this incredible financial, medical, emotional, and physical upheaval caused to our family.
• The VP at American Homes for Rent apologized and told our lawyer that she recommended that AH4R settle with me because our hundreds of communications were not dealt with properly.
• Then Hurricane Harvey hit
• Sept. 2017 The VP then told Cornelius Hayes III that the VP of Legal at AH4R could only recommend but had no power to make the company follow her recommendations.
• All was silent until December 2017. We heard nothing from AH4R. I had to find and pay for temporary housing. I had a 2-hour one-way commute.
• Cornelius Hayes III then transferred us to David Calvillo, another board member who is a litigator. He began speaking with opposing counsel.
• AH4R has possession of the home and all our contaminated belongings.
• AH4R and their local legal counsel granted us access to the property, under supervision in June 2018. We were afraid we were going to lose everything: all of our children's possessions, heirlooms, we had a daughter who died a few years ago, and everything we have of hers is in that house.
• When we entered the property, under supervision from AH4R property manager & their counsel, we found the house to have been ransacked.
• We were not able to remove much. The house had been ransacked, and items were stolen. TVs were taken, Jamie's jewelry box had been emptied, antique framed portraits were taken, other personal items were strewn throughout, drawers opened and dumped, etc. Everything was in disarray.
• The next-door neighbor said he witnessed the AH4R representative who was supervising our activities that day, load a trailer of our belongings.
• We have since learned that nearly all of the Houston AH4R managers we dealt with throughout this process were dismissed this past fall and no longer are employed by AH4R.
We have been living in temporary housing in Schulenburg since Oct. 1st, 2017. It is a one-bedroom cabin with all five children. This experience has affected my work and our entire family. Our kids have left their friends, their homeschool groups, our church...Christmas season was full of tears this year. All of our Christmas belongings were in the garage and utterly destroyed. My wife had an online store and photography business...all of her equipment is in the house, so both businesses are now gone. We are trying to return to the Kingwood / Humble area...but even if we can manage that - we have nothing to put into our new home. I have had a 2-hour one-way commute since October of last year. We have had to replace necessary living items slowly. We made several visits to Urgent Care. Jamie was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. We were unable to financially make all the doctor's appointments and get the testing done to relate all symptoms to mold. We did not have any issue like this before, and within a few days after leaving the house, all symptoms were gone. It was like the analogy of boiling a frog in water. We didn't realize how dangerous the mold in the air was until it was so bad we were having massive headaches, fevers, nosebleeds, coughs, etc. We homeschool, so Jamie and the kids were right in it all day every day for over six months as it grew. My eldest daughter is still undergoing neurological testing.
As a result of this unfair, deceptive, and on-going practice by AH4R, my family has suffered much injury and loss of money as follows:
Temporary, but long-term living conditions had to be sought and replaced for a family of 7 for the past 12 months. Damaged and destroyed possessions. Medical treatment for the past 18 months. Work-related costs included extended commutes, loss of equipment that was in the home. Cleaning of contaminated possessions that can be properly sanitized. Loss of work for my wife who worked from home with equipment in the home. Loss of irreplaceable items.
Reason of review: Destruction of Property.
Monetary Loss: $95000.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Ethics, Local management, Company fraudulently charging tenants, Fraud, Maintenance.