BLACKMAN TWP., Mich. (WLNS) – A resident of Sun Valley Estates mobile home community in Blackman Township is raising concerns about the condition of the home she rented from the company.
Salem Esham says she rented a home in the community in July and discovered a black mold infestation as well as a host of other concerns.
“They don’t care, they really just don’t care about any of it,” Esham tells 6 News about the management at Sun Valley Estates Mobile Home Park.
She moved into the community with her 15-month-old son. Her cousin also moved into the home.
“Our rent every month was $1,203, that was also the move-in cost and that’s all we had to pay. We didn’t have to pay any security deposit or anything else. We moved in together to help each other out and it seemed like it was going to work out fine,” she says.
After a few days, Esham says she noticed her oven did not work and her hot water heater was disconnected. She says a maintenance worker told her she needed another over. When the new oven arrived, she learned the gas lines were too old to use on the new appliance and those lines had to be replaced.
She says she became concerned about carbon monoxide, and Consumers Energy shut off the natural gas to the house on Oct. 7. That, she says, forced her to move her son out of the home.
“The main reason why I couldn’t have him here, especially for the first couple of weeks of not having gas was because my house was 50 to 60 degrees,” she says.
In addition to the gas and carbon monoxide concerns, Esham says she grew concerned about black mold. She bought a test for the dangerous mold, and the tray for the test was covered in black spots. Inside her vents, dirt, dust and debris have built up.
Courtney Ornelas, Esham’s cousin, says the rental experience with the mobile home community has been “horrible.”
“Us being both immuno-compromised on top of that, we felt the sickness from the mold, from the carbon monoxide we both sat here wondering why our heads are feeling like they’re going to explode,” Ornelas tells 6 News. “It’s disappointing.”
Property managers tell 6 News they have responded to work orders and made repairs. The two sides have now agreed.
“At this point, everyone has mutually agreed that this isn’t working out and that we’re happy to pay her move-in cost and she can find somewhere else to live and we can have an amicable resolution to this,” Property Management Vice President, Michelle Oppelt tells 6 News in a phone call.
Esham says she doesn’t feel the payment is enough when weighed against what she, her son and her cousin had to go through.
The management company says it is “actively involved in an attempt to agree with this resident.”