ST. LOUIS ( -- Tenants of a St. Louis apartment complex describe their living conditions as horrible.

Some residents said living conditions at the Blue Fountain apartments are also dangerous.

“I shouldn’t have to fear for my life in a neighborhood that’s already bad,” Donna Pendelton said

She is angry because street lights in the parking lot no longer work.

According to Ameren, the lights were turned off in May for non-payment.

Pendelton also pointed out numerous issues with broken siding, broken windows, loose railings, missing ceilings, and overgrown weeds and grass.

In Maggie Wynn’s apartment, the front door is peeling apart and the door to her common hallway doesn’t close properly.

Wynn also pointed out extensive damage in her bathroom.

She said mold and a missing ceiling took nearly eight months to fix, a job that remains incomplete.

Concerned about her safety inside her own apartment, she slides a couch in front of her doorway to protect herself at night.

“If the door is pushed open at least I will hear them,” Wynn said.

The complex is owned by SM TEH Realty with an address based in Kansas City.

The group owns several apartment complexes in the St. Louis region.

News 4 has documented issues at multiple complexes owned by SM TEH Realty.

Rob Swearingen of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri represents several of the tenants.

Swearingen said, “they appear to be an extraction model business, take money out and put nothing in” when referring to SM TEH.

He said tenants should not be required to pay rent if their apartment is uninhabitable.

Swearingen told News 4, “people should hold on to rent, put it in escrow and pay into the court. You shouldn’t have to pay rent for these types of conditions.”

Frank Oswald is the St. Louis Building Commissioner. He said “it’s a lot of maintenance issues” when referring to problems at Blue Fountain.

The day after Oswald’s office was contacted by News 4, city inspectors visited Blue Fountain.

Inspectors documented numerous code violations and condemned one unit.

"It certainly doesn’t meet the city’s standards," Oswald said.

The city will not issue new occupancy permits at the complex until problems are resolved, according to Oswald.

News 4 reached out to two employees inside the Blue Fountain office, but neither offered any comment.

An employee took the name and number of Investigative Reporter Chris Nagus to pass along to an SM TEH representative.

Nobody with SM TEH has offered any comment on the conditions at Blue Fountain.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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