CBS 19 Investigates: Neighbors, workers fed up with "slum lord" - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

CBS 19 Investigates: Neighbors, workers fed up with "slum lord" apartment owner

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TYLER (KYTX) -

People who live at the Hidden Springs apartments call owner Doug Vinson a "slum lord." After going through bankruptcy, Vinson's creditors still aren't happy and neither are the people at Hidden Springs.

"The discoloration in this carpet? This is all mold," Douglas Hansen said as he showed us around his apartment. "That's all black mold."

Still dealing with the aftermath of an air conditioning leak, Douglas Hansen got even madder on Monday when the heat went out.

Ever since then he's been taking notes of everything that's wrong. Inside and outside.

"This is rusted out," Hansens said of a well-worn railing outside his front door.

"I should have listened to those people when they were telling me he was not going to pay," former Hidden Springs Maintenance Man Martin Flores said.

Martin Flores used to be the maintenance man at Hidden Springs. He said he stopped working when he stopped getting paid.

"I'm just waiting," Flores said.

"I mean it was a continual snowball of money that he owed me," former Hidden Springs office employee Monica Grayson said.

Grayson also quit her position.

"[Vinson] would be in Dallas [all the time]," she said. "He wouldn't be on the property.">

She worked in the office at Hidden Springs and said Vinson consistently mismanaged the money.

"He is a slum lord," Hansen said.

With that accusation in mind we confronted Vinson on Friday.

"We do have a couple of questions for you," Field Sutton said as he entered the office at Hidden Springs.

"Okay you can't come in with the camera," Vinson said.

"Why is that?" Sutton asked.

"Go out with the camera. Go out with the camera. Go out. Go. Out. I will talk to you."

With our camera outside, Sutton asked why nothing gets done and no one gets paid.

"People are getting paid. That's really none of [Hansen's] business," Vinson said.

"Well I have people who have judgments against you that are for unpaid work," Sutton said. "They have, you know, not received any money from that judgment."

"Well...I've just got to go with what the attorney says," Vinson said. "The attorney told me when they come in all you have to say is 'there's more to what's going on than what meet's the eye. We are working things out in court.'"

Vinson would not specify which case he was talking about.

He has been sued in small claims court and now owes Martin and another maintenance man thousands. A judge cut Hansen's rent in half.

A Dallas area school district was after him a decade ago in a tax case.

And there was that bankruptcy filed in 2009 and thought to be settled in 2011. But Fannie Mae came back this year, complaining Vinson isn't complying with his bankruptcy exit payment plan.

Fannie Mae's claim that Vinson was still dodging his creditors did not convince the judge to re-open that bankruptcy case.

Hansen just wishes Vinson would sell the complex to someone who cares.

"I'd like to get my place fixed," he said. "I'd rather get my place fixed."

Grayson worries people will continue to go without paychecks, after being forced to turn to a lawyer to collect her own.

"[Vinson] has paid me in full now at this point but there are a lot of people that are not going to have a very good Christmas without having a paycheck."

Vinson said Friday that he will get things taken care of eventually.

Later in the day, Hansen said he found an eviction notice on his front door. He said he plans on staying because he's the one who's owed money.

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