North Texas Daily

Student reports health violations, stolen property at Viridian apartment complex

Student reports health violations, stolen property at Viridian apartment complex

Student reports health violations, stolen property at Viridian apartment complex
June 11
12:00 2021

CORRECTION: This story was updated to reflect an error in reporting on the alleged lawsuit mentioned in previous versions. Constructive eviction, not a lawsuit, was claimed against the Viridian apartment complex. 

Noah Varville, Denton resident and photography senior, reported experiencing ongoing difficulties as a tenant at the Viridian Denton apartment complex following damage caused by Winter Storm Uri in February.

Varville claimed to experience unjust management at the Viridian since the winter storm struck Texas. On Feb. 17, Varville’s unit, which is located the second floor, had multiple pipe bursts, which flooded down to the first floor where his garage is also located. This resulted in a two-week water shortage.

“During this time, we attempted to get out of the lease and they refused,” Varville said. “The property manager [Brandon Collum] assured me there were talks in place for a possible rent reduction and told me I had to pay an entire month’s rent for February even though the unit was uninhabitable without water.”

Between March 1 and 7, Viridian management hired a renovation team to begin demolition on the unit. Varville said the renovation team began ripping the drywall off of his garage, balcony and second floor, as well as drilling holes in the cabinets. Varville experienced health issues due to the aftermath of the renovation.

“Toward the end of March, the unit began to smell incredibly sour,” Varville said. “I started having nosebleeds, headaches, diarrhea and blurred vision. So, I got the place tested for mold twice with an air quality check. The tests found elevated levels of many different variants of toxic mold.”

Varville also alleged that the Viridian was responsible for his property being stolen during renovations on his unit.

Varville said the renovation team that entered his apartment took a PlayStation 5 game and used his compact drill without his permission, breaking it in the process. He was compensated for these items by the renovation company. Varville said he had possessions stolen again when a repair team broke his garage door and left it open, resulting in an unknown party stealing an entire tool cabinet, vintage katana and car jack set out of the garage. 

“Viridian refuses to take the blame even though it’s in the lease that if they are found negligent or if it’s their fault  they’d own up to it and everything,” Varville said. “They like to use the lease solely in their favor.”

Varville’s lawyer wrote to the Viridian asking for a break in the lease and rent return, as well as reimbursement for the stolen items and mold test. The Viridian declined all requests and “refused to acknowledge the mold” Varville said. With the help of a lawyer, Varville has claimed constructive eviction to break his lease without penalty over the reconstruction causing him health problems, mold, stolen possessions and unauthorized entry of his home by the renovation team. 

“We have listened to this person’s concerns and been working hard over the past several months to resolve this matter to everyone’s satisfaction,” Cari Luetge, Regional Vice President of Asset Living, said. “Unfortunately, it still seems like some issues remain unresolved. We understand the attorneys have now gotten involved, so we really cannot comment on the particulars of the case.”

Varville said he reported the situation to the Denton County Health Department but was told if he can not see the mold, there is nothing he can do.

“Tenants have the right to request the landlord repair conditions that effect housing health and safety,” Ryan Adams, Director of Customer Service and Public Affairs at City of Denton, said. “If a landlord fails to address health and safety repairs, the City of Denton Code Enforcement handles rental property maintenance complaints and performs interior inspections of rental units by request at no cost. Some of the more common complaints addressed by rental inspections include mold testing, heating and air conditioning issues, no hot water, sanitary sewage blockage, or rodent/insect infestation.”

Featured Image: Outside view of Viridian Apartments main building on June 7, 2021. Image by Laura Nunez

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Christian Hollingsworth

Christian Hollingsworth

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