FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. - As the south recovers from Nicholas, parts of the Delaware Valley area are still recovering from Ida. Some renters are still waiting for their landlords to repair damage, or at least give them a timeline.
"The water is coming in through the displaced shingles on the roof and it’s just running through everything," renter Irene Flannery said.
Flannery’s been patient. Her rented Summit Avenue home was one of the many slammed by the tornadoes of two weeks ago. But, while sounds of recovery echo through her neighborhood, Irene’s home sits quiet, except for the dripping water.
"They didn’t have an electrician come out until last Friday. They didn’t remove trees until last Thursday. And, they still have not put a tarp on the roof so the water is still coming into several bedrooms. Even my seven-year-old’s room. The ceiling is coming through," Flannery described.
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Irene has her two youngest children staying with family, while her daughter is with her at a local hotel. The power is back on, but Irene doesn’t trust it’s safe. And, they can’t call their own people.
"Because, like, we can’t even have somebody come out, because we don’t own the house. So, we have to call people. Like, if we were to call a roofer? They have to call the landlord and the landlord has to pre-approve that. So that they can come and fix it. But, he’s not even answering his emergency line," Irene's daughter explained.
FOX 29 spoke with two of the landlords who explained they’d spent more than $25,000 clearing trees from the house, had arranged for PECO to return power and had offered to let Irene out of her lease and find her another place, all of which they say she refused. They also said they sent the first adjuster their insurance company could find.
"There’s so many different disaster sites, so many different homes that have been destroyed," Michael Bannon, of Bucks County’s Office of Consumer Protection, stated.
Bannon said Montgomery County doesn’t have an office for consumer protection, so he gets a lot of their calls. He says tenants have rights, but resolution is sometimes slow-gotten. The best defense is to keep good records.
"If you were a renter and the landlord is not responsive, you should send a written letter with your concerns and save a copy of it. That’s really important to continue the process of the cleanup.
That’s really important. You need to document it and stay with it," Bannon added.