Campus Habitat’s properties on Wall and Graham streets have fallen into chaos as the landlord continues to withdraw from Carbondale.
Jordon Childs, a resident and former employee at the buildings, said even the worst parts of Carbondale don’t compare to the conditions of Campus Habitat.
The buildings are currently falling into disrepair, with garbage piling up around the already-filled dumpster, graffiti
scrawled across windows and walls, and the hallways littered with trash. They have been subject to numerous building code citations for months.
City Manager Kevin Baity said the city has informal knowledge that Greystone, the financial agent that holds the mortgage on the properties, will be in contact with the city in the near future to discuss taking them over.
This follows Campus Habitat’s properties at 600 and 850 W. Freeman and 716 University going into foreclosure and under the management of court receivers in December.
Two of the buildings in the Wall and Graham complex, 508 S. Wall and 511 S. Graham, have been unoccupied for months following storm damage in April 2011. Campus Habitat leased out rooms in the buildings over the summer.
The other two properties, 506 S. Graham and 504 S. Wall, have been occupied.
Childs said the maintenance staff was laid off over winter break.
Tenant Ashley Murray said the trash started piling up Dec. 28. She said the manager tried to get a tenant to pick up the garbage themself in return for not paying rent.
Childs said he worked in the complex’s front office, and the management, which changed frequently, got worse and worse over the last several months.
Campus Habitat leased out rooms in 508 S. Wall and 511 S. Graham though they were not ready to be occupied, and tenants who showed up in the fall were given replacement rooms in other buildings, some of which were not comparable to the ones they’d signed leases for, he said.
Murray said she knew someone who was moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a three-bedroom apartment with other tenants.
When he was working there, bills would pile up in the manager’s office, he said.
He said now there appears to be one employee under owner Maximus Yaney, who only comes to collect rent.
Tenant Tyrell Hall said residents are not told anything about what’s going on with the buildings, and rent collectors were demanding rent in cash.
He said he’s also heard of people refusing to pay rent, and was told by the city not to pay rent as there may be people fraudulently collecting it.
Murray said it didn’t make any sense to pay rent to a company that was going into foreclosure and wasn’t going to do anything for the buildings.
Hall said he plans to move out as soon as possible and is looking for other places. He said the management has always been disorganized and unresponsive, and he’s often thought about leaving, but never got around to it.
“The garbage and all that, that’s just the last straw,” he said.
Murray said she hasn’t made any plans yet to move out because she doesn’t want to do anything that could violate her contract and then harm her credit rating.
Conditions have been bad since August, including holes in doors and broken A/C and heating that weren’t fixed for a month, and only after the city had been notified, she said.
Childs said he is moving out Feb. 1, and would have earlier had he not been working for the company.
“I’m not going to pay to live with roaches. I’m not going to pay to live where the shower doesn’t work. I’m not going to pay for cold water. Some things you don’t pay for,” he said.