Water back on again at Marquis Apartments

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - December 28, 2011

Brock Washburn and his girlfriend are packing up. They say they are fed up.

The couple has been without working water for 3 days. In the past they say they've had no heat and dealt with an infestation of cockroaches.

"It is just infuriating, absolutely infuriating," said Washburn.

"It's just a continual litany of complaints," said Upper Merion Director of Safety and Codes John Waters. "We get more complaints from the Marquis Apartments than we get from all other apartments in the township combined."

Waters says the Marquis' owner, Metropolitan Properties of America, has been cited for 19 violations since November. Tuesday the township went to the courts to get a preliminary injunction to say, in effect, "Fix the problems or the buildings will be shuttered."

"We are hoping the actions of the last few days will convince them that we're not putting up with this anymore," said Waters. He said the township's message to Metropolitan is simple: "You've got to do better than what you are doing now, because what you are doing now is unacceptable."

On Wednesday morning crews arrived at the complex to repair a broken pipe. Action News was flooded with calls and emails from residents early Wednesday morning, alerting us that once again tenants were without water.

We contacted management at the Marquis and were told that the outage wasn't due to the same broken valve that caused problems on Christmas Day. This time it was a burst pipe. Crews were able to fix the problem and just before 2:00 pm the water came back on again.

But after that Action News observed other problems at the complex, including exposed wiring, a leaking indoor pipe, mold and even exposed asbestos insulation.

A spokesperson for the Marquis told Action News the company was unaware of the previous violations and it's working around the clock to fix the ongoing problems.

But for Blake Washburn and his girlfriend, enough is enough.

"We are going to get as much as we can. What we don't get we'll get tomorrow. But we are out of here," he said.

A Marquis spokesman tells Action News that hotel accommodations and food vouchers are being offered to tenants by Metropolitan Properties.

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