Renter Complains About Home’s Electrical Issues, Inspector Condemns Home

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - A Decatur mother is holding her kids a little tighter. A city inspector told her the house she and her children lived in could have killed them all. The single mom watched her lights flicker two months. The young lady told WHNT News 19 the landlord refused to help her.

Angela Voyles wanted WHNT News 19 to help fight the landlord. A Decatur city inspector discovered more than a handful of violations and more than enough safety issues inside Voyles' home. A 'Do Not Occupy' sign hangs on Voyles’ front door. The renter is forced to live somewhere else. People in charge of the home are not talking.

Voyles' southeast Decatur home has a big backyard and four bedrooms. None of it was enough to help rest easy.

“There were issues with the electricity. The breakers would keep shooting. The lights would actually blow,” said Voyles.

Voyles saw sparks and flickers.

“It was terrible. I mean, I could not function,” added Voyles.

Voyles moved into the home last September. She called her landlord about the issue until November. She told WHNT News 19 the landlord promised to send an electrician.

The electrician never showed. Angela called one herself.

“I gathered the meter in the back was not wired properly and Decatur Utilities needed to be called,” added Voyles.

Voyles showed WHNT News 19 where a Decatur Utilities worker removed the home’s source of power.

“I asked them why they are cutting my power. They said they couldn`t walk away because it was too dangerous and the house could have burned. They were surprised it hadn`t burned already,” added Voyles.

Angela has a 7-year old and 8-year old. She's a single mother. She grabbed the kids and checked into a hotel.

“I didn`t feel like he was going to do anything. He knows I didn’t have any power,”
added Voyles.

She continued contacting her landlord. She was forced to complain to someone at Decatur's City Hall.

A city code enforcement officer inspected Voyles’ home. The officer discovered 10 life safety issues and code violations.

Some were no smoke detectors, a rat infestation, a deteriorated structure, unsafe electrical, plumbing, gas, and heating systems.

“I`m surprised we hadn`t already died in this house. I could not believe anyone would rent a property like this to anyone especially a single mom with two kids,” added Voyles.

Voyles believes the sparks and flickers saved her life.

“I just want you to try to figure out why he is doing this and if he is even doing it to someone else,” added Voyles.

No one is accepting responsibility for allowing Voyles to live in that home. The owners of the home are dead. A trustee maintains the home. He was unaware of the problems in the home until the code enforcement gave him the list.

There's also a property manager for the home.  The manager told WHNT News 19 he only collects the money for the trustee.


  • Wake Up

    “Investor” do not invest to not make money. Delayed or deferred maintenance equals more profits. Good ole capitalism at its best!

  • Amber Bumpus

    As a person who has worked in the rental world for over ten years there seems to be a lot more to this story. The owner definitely should repair all the damages, but if the conditions are so bad you’re scared for your kids life why are you just now moving the children to safety? There are more factors to consider here, but in my opinion there is a big gap of information being left out of this story such as if this is a HUD home, yearly inspections are enforced. If this is the case HUD should also be responsible for damages. Just saying you can’t always judge off of a one sided story.

  • Angela Voyles

    The utility company made me made me aware of the hazardous wiring to the meter after i called an electrician for a light problem in my bathroom. The landlord has promised months to repair it. The city building inspector found more dangers i was unaware of.

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