My wife and I rented a home beginning last month (March 17, 2015) in Mobile Alabama from Reeves Rentals aka Reeves Realty which is run by Martha and John Reeves. The home was described as a 1/1 (1 bedroom / 1 bathroom) garage apartment. Problems with this property began almost immediately upon arriving. There was enough garbage left behind from the previous occupants, neighbors, and whomever else to add up to more than 3 times (2 cubic yards or 3 ft. X 3 ft. X 6 ft.) the city limit for bulk trash pickup. This trash included old mattresses which were being used by homeless persons to sleep in the garage (garage door is missing), couches, chairs, tree limbs, pieces of appliances, clothing articles, bicycle tires, food / beverage containers, and lots more. There was also a burning barrel which was being used to burn trash and melt down copper wire and other scrap metals in front of the home we rented. There were clothes lines attached to both sides of our home which were being used to dry clothes by other property occupants. When my wife and I began removing the trash & clothes lines, one of our neighbors became extremely angry and told us to put the trash back where we found it & put the clothes lines back up. A lot of this stuff was left in our garage, and we were simply moving it so that we could park our car. We didn’t know at the time, but Martha Reeves had made an oral agreement with our neighbors allowing them to use our garage and home as they pleased. When my wife called Martha Reeves to request that the trash be removed she told her that she was being unreasonable. She also told my wife that we should have “called her and asked permission to remove the trash.” In the end, it took nearly a month to remove all of the trash with me breaking it down manually and hauling it out piece by piece to the curb. The inside of the house was not much better. The roof leaks in several places which has caused mold to grow in approximately half of the house (making it unlivable). This was not immediately visible since everything had been painted over. Only when we got our first hard rain which lasted several days did mold / mildew begin to form along all the ceilings, walls, and windows in the bedroom and bathroom. There are also a few spots in the kitchen / living area which have mold as well. The plumbing has been backing up into the yard for more than 3 weeks. The valve had been removed so that it could run freely without stopping up the home – so there is raw sewage in our yard. There are 3 other homes on the property all of which seem to have major plumbing problems. The entire area smells of sewage. There were no appliances in the home (no stove, no refrigerator, no microwave, etc.). My wife and I were living out of an ice chest for more than 3 weeks. When we requested appliances we were told that they do not provide them – even if we were willing to pay additional rent. The window panes began falling out of the windows shortly upon us arriving so that we were forced to put boards up over all of the windows. This was also for added security as there are several homeless persons who live in one of the abandoned homes located on the property. When we informed Martha Reeves of this situation she stated that there was “nothing she could do.” We were harassed constantly by other occupants of the property causing us to have to call the police nearly 30 times in the first 5 days we lived here. They shouted racial slurs, curse words, threatened us with weapons, and got into large groups trying to intimidate us and tell us to leave / move on. We informed Martha Reeves of this situation and she told us that they had “been here a long time on their own so they didn’t want anyone else here.” This is not a situation we were made aware of when we leased the home. When we initially made a maintenance request, Reeves sent out a person (Jimmy Gil) who claimed to “work for the owner of the property (not Reeves).” We showed him holes in the floor leading to the outside in multiple rooms / closet (can see daylight through the holes), caulking on the bathtub, sink, and toilet were all going bad, tiles falling out due to mold / mildew, laminate on kitchen counter coming up with mold beginning to form underneath, windows falling out, paint chipping and peeling, fire damage in garage where multiple boards need to be replaced, stairs leading up to front door falling apart and nearly unable to be walked on, multiple rotting boards all over the outside of the house, along with other issues. Jimmy claimed that the owner was “not big on repairs” and smiled at us when we told him that Landlord Tenant Laws in Alabama required Landlords to keep their properties up to certain standards. Jimmy claimed the only thing he could do was “fill some of them holes.” He also made us feel extremely uncomfortable as he did not seem to be licensed or professional in any way, and was asking questions to lead us to believe he was “casing” our home to try and rob us. He also seemed to be friends with many of the homeless persons and told my wife that the garage of our home was a “hangout spot” for the neighbors and other occupants of the property. Further maintenance requests were ignored. Every time it rains the power flickers and / or goes out. The water / sewer pipes leak in the garage. The faucets drip. There is no air conditioning of any kind – my wife and I bought 2 box fans from Walmart which we use to cool the home. The heat consists of a HearthRite heater which was removed from our neighbors home due to it being unsafe. Large mud puddles form in front of the home in the driveway area where concrete should be, making it very difficult to drive in and out. There is a very large tree in front of the home which is close to several power lines creating an electrical fire hazard. There is another large tree behind the home with limbs extending all over the roof – creating a very dangerous situation. The roof itself needs to be replaced as it is covered with mold, has missing shingles everywhere, and leaks in multiple places. Martha Reeves told my wife that these issues would all be addressed – which they have not. I would highly advise anyone in the Mobile, Alabama area to AVOID Reeves Rentals aka Reeves Realty – Martha & John Reeves – Jimmy Gil.
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