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Students forced to flee house

Originally published November 5, 2010

Students living on Barker Avenue had to move out of their home due to various code violations last week.

Tenant Marissa Becker, a junior chemistry major, said the main reason she and her roommates had to move out was aluminum ladders used as fire escapes.

“The fire escapes were not sturdy enough and weren’t up to code,” she said. “And my roommate and I were scared because one of the ladders went right up to my bedroom window in the attic, and we thought someone could break in.”

In addition to the poor fire escapes, Becker said she also heard animals in her bedroom.

“There were raccoons in my room,” she said. “I never saw them, but the girl who lived there before me complained about animals. They set up traps and caught raccoons, and there were also mice.”

Becker said her landlord did nothing to fix the issues.

“We called the management company, and the lady we called said everything was up to code and the fire escapes were fine,” she said. “My roommate’s parents called the city and explained the situation. The city said the house was not up to code and did a background check on [S&S Property Management]. They found out that the company had fines from other houses that weren’t kept up to code.”

The city contacted S&S, and Becker received a letter saying she and her roommates had to move to the apartment on the second floor of their building.

“They told us we had to get out and move downstairs, but the apartment below us had mold so bad you could smell it in the hallway,” she said. “We weren’t going to do that. I think just because we are college students, they didn’t care as much.”

Becker said the university was helpful in finding a new residence.

“There were a couple places open, like in St. James, but the house was better for our furniture,” she said. “Bradley helped us, and we were moved out last week. No one is living in our old house right now.”

S&s Property Management did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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