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Family who had to evacuate apartment because of black mold speaks out

Traveling nurse and disabled veteran Renee Martin has rented with Epic Property Management at Arbors Courts since June.
Published: Oct. 23, 2021 at 9:58 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Traveling nurse and disabled veteran Renee Martin has rented with Epic Property Management at Arbors Courts since June.

She lived there with her husband and her three youngest kids, who are all younger than 7 years old.

In August, the apartment ceiling started leaking.

The mold began growing in early September.

“They were more worried about their blinds and their carpet and the water stains on the cupboards more so than the health of our families and children,” said Martin.

Martin says the management company sent someone to clear out the mold, but she says it came back with a vengeance.

Family members started to get rashes and feel sick.

She started to develop itchy spots on her legs, her husband developed a rash on his face, and all of them started having a cough.

Due to the growth of the mold, the family was asked to leave earlier this month.

Epic set them up in another apartment building the company owns.

Martin says other residents in the building were given the option to leave--with this month’s rent paid and their deposits back.

“We had asked for everything in writing when they had informed us that there was going to be no walkthrough. That we weren’t going to be held accountable for anything that was happening in the apartment--that we just needed to leave. And so we were like ‘can we get that in writing’ and they’re like, ‘No Mr. Martin, we don’t need to. It’s something we’re doing. Everyone has just got to get out,’” said the mother of 5.

The family was given until October 31st to completely move out.

Martin says management did an exit walkthrough this week without telling her and was later told her family was “gross” by the company.

She paid a professional to clean the apartment-- including the carpets Epic told her would soon be removed.

The nurse told us it’s like Epic is following standard move-out protocols for a situation that’s not standard.

Her family went back to Texas--fearful of staying in the new apartment and getting more damage charges.

Martin’s contract isn’t up for another 6 weeks, and she says she was considering extending it before this incident.

The disabled veteran says she feels she was bullied by the company.

In an email from Epic, she was given a final notice for unauthorized parking in handicapped spaces--telling her her car will be towed the next time.

Martin has marked disability plates.

She says she wasn’t given an initial warning.

“I’m not comfortable to sleep in the bed, use their cooking utensils, to put my calendar on the wall because I don’t know what they’re going to charge me with. And I can’t afford to pay some crazy amount. I don’t know how they expect someone to live in their apartment complexes,” said Martin.

Martin says was told she is responsible for replacing the damaged furniture in the unit.

“It is in the building. This whole area has spores in it. It’s not showing out here and more in there. But it doesn’t mean they aren’t in here,” said Martin.

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