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Tenant says ceiling collapsed inside of apartment: ‘It was like an explosion’

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RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond man reached out to CBS 6 Problem Solvers about what he calls dangerous living conditions at the Flats at Ginter Park in Richmond.

"It was like an explosion,” said Felix Turner.

Felix Turner said he’s still shaken over a frightening incident that occurred at his apartmen back in June.

"I was hoping I live because it was very bad,” said Turner.

Felix Turner

Felix Turner

Turner said while he and his girlfriend were watching TV, a portion of the living room ceiling collapsed.

CBS 6 obtained a copy of the fire incident report from the Richmond Fire Department.

"It fell all over us... sheet rock, debris, gravel. Some of everything came out of that ceiling,” said Turner.

He said he had to crawl over to his girlfriend to rescue her and call 911.

Turner provided CBS 6 with the hospital bill showing the extent of his injuries.

"I had head injuries, neck, shoulders and back,” he added.

ceiling collapsed

When he returned home from the hospital, Turner said the former property manager, an insurance adjuster, and a maintenance employee removed the debris.

He told said the insurance adjuster was going to file a claim with the insurance company.

"They was going to make me a settlement and advised me not to call an attorney because they were going to make me a settlement," said Turner.

He added that they didn’t specific how much they would pay him.

Turner claims the ceiling collapse ruined nearly $3,000 worth of furniture and electronics in his apartment.

Now, nearly a year later, he is still waiting to be reimbursed.

"I kept calling or going to the office and looks like they kept dragging me along," said Turner.

Turner said that management kept telling him that they going to call the adjuster, but nothing ever happened.

Since our Problem Solvers investigation began, CBS 6 obtained copies of 300 pending work orders from a former property manager at the Flats at Ginter Park.


Problems have ranged from no heat, window locks, sewage backups, water leaks, to mold.

CBS 6 tried numerous times to reach Mike Glass, who was the representative for the property owners, to find out how they plan to handle the reported work orders.

But each time we were told he was unavailable.

We also left messages, but they were never returned.

CBS 6 has since learned that Glass is no longer with the company.

So what are the rights of a tenant who feel like they’ve been wronged by their landlord?

Attorney Martin Wegbreit said a tenant can sue as long as they have proof that the damages resulted from the landlord’s breach of contract.

“Obviously, a rental property that has a damaged ceiling is worth less than the contract rent that you agreed to pay. So, you could certainly sue for diminished rental value,” said Wegbreit. “You could possibly sue for your property damage.”

Wegbreit went on to say it is important for every tenant to have renter’s insurance.

As for Felix Turner, he told CBS 6 he signed a written agreement with the new property management. The company is waiving his $700 in monthly rent for March and April.

In addition, starting in May, management has agreed to reduce his rent from $700 to $550 a month.

CBS 6 News is working for you. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.

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