CANOGA PARK (CBSLA) — The Bates family is spending another night without gas in their Canoga Park condo.
Since August, Sharese Bates and her family have been unable to use their gas stove, forcing them to cook meals on a small electric burner or spend money on takeout.
It’s the same story for Desiree Brown and 170 other tenants in the Village Park condominiums who have been living without gas.
Brown gave CBS2/KCAL9 the first letter she received months ago, notifying them of a gas leak on the property.
“Dated August 18, saying that it was an urgent matter,” she said.
Brown said the problems snowballed from there. They had no hot water for almost two months until the property management company finally came up with a temporary solution to run pipes to boilers on the roof.
Deserted sites are visible around the property where holes have been dug, but the project has come to a standstill.
Bates and Brown say they both have had rodent problems because of the construction outside.
“It’s like numerous areas where it is all dug up (and is an) eyesore, and already enough is going on (with) COVID, and now I have to go through this day in and day out it’s stressful,” said Brown.
Notices from September posted around the property explain that after the gas company came out on August 18, additional leaks were found. The property management company, Icon Realty, said they then discovered all the pipes were so old they had to be replaced — costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and requiring extensive engineering plans.
The owner of Bates’ condo said his hands are tied in speeding up the repairs.
Raj Sharma owns four condos and said it’s up to the HOA board members to make the ultimate decisions. He showed CBS2/KCAL9 an email from November 9 which says that the management company has an engineer working on the plans, getting approval from the city, requesting bids from vendors, and because of that, “they cannot provide an exact timetable for completion.”
Sharma, like the other condo owners, will have to pay thousands of dollars for the project. Bates and Brown said it’s unfair they are still paying rent while living in these conditions, which should’ve been fixed years ago.
“It’s frustrating we are still paying our rent and doing our part. This should’ve been fixed!” Brown said.
The property management company said this is a massive undertaking and there are no shortcuts. They also mentioned the heat is electric and should be working, but those who spoke with CBSLA said that is not the case.