'Porches don't just fall down'
Published: Monday, October 25, 2010
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
The roof covering the front porch of an East Lane Avenue home collapsed Saturday morning. That's the only thing the tenants and property manager agree on.
A female called the police Saturday at 3:37 a.m. and said the roof of 44 E. Lane Ave. fell "because kids were sitting on it," a Columbus Police dispatcher said.
Carl Scoles, a fifth-year in animal sciences who lives with five other students in the house, said the roof fell on its own.
"The wood is so rotted and worn out on that thing," he said. "I can't believe it didn't come down sooner."
Ryan Falk, a third-year in business at Bowling Green State University, was visiting his brother who lives in the house. Falk said he was asleep in the living room when the roof collapsed and that nobody was sitting on it.
But George Ypsilantis, property manager for Pella Co., which rents out more than 50 properties — including the one on East Lane — to students, said he suspects people sitting on the roof caused its collapse.
"Porches don't just fall down," he said.
When maintenance issues occur, Scoles said Pella does "the least amount possible to repair things."
"We've had problems with stuff falling apart before," he said. "Last year the bottom of this roof was rotting and falling off, so they just put up some plywood to cover it."
Again, Ypsilantis disagreed. He said there has been no repair work on the porch roof within the past two years, but that putting up sheets of plywood is probably how such a repair would have been made.
Ypsilantis said he inspects all the Pella properties at least once a month. Scoles, who has lived there for more than a year, said he has never seen a company representative inspect the property.
Ypsilantis is trying to expedite the repair process, but "it could take a few weeks to get all the paperwork approved," he said. Until then, temporary railings are being installed to allow the residents to use the porch, he said.
The repairs are estimated to cost between $5,000 and $10,000, all of which Pella will likely pay, Ypsilantis said.
While the incident resulted in no injuries, "it crushed a perfectly good beer-pong table," said Kayla Ream, a fourth-year in business at Wright State University, who was visiting her brother who lives in the house.
Scoles said he has had other issues with Pella not making proper repairs to his house.
"Last year someone punched a hole in the shower wall," he said. "We put in a maintenance request to fix it, and they just covered the hole with a mirror."
Ypsilantis said repairs are made on a case-by-case basis.
"Whenever we do repairs and everything else, it's different situations," he said. "If they punched a hole in the thing … we could tell them, ‘Hey, we have to replace the whole panel,' or we could put a Plexiglas mirror in there."
Ypsilantis said Pella responds to most maintenance requests within a day.
"This is going to take a big mirror to fix," Scoles said.