You can fight rental nightmares

Published: Monday, October 31, 2011 @ 4:44 PM
Updated: Monday, October 31, 2011 @ 4:44 PM

A swarm of roaches at a Dayton house is a nightmare for the man living next door.

"I'm sitting here trying to defend my home from a massive infestation, which I'm losing the battle on," said James Manning.

His calls, emails and media stories eventually landed him a visit from the mayor.

"The trouble is, we have a bunch of landlords that don't care and they rent to people that don't care, and all they're focused on is the money," said Gary Leitzell, Mayor of Dayton.

David Luther lives down the street from the house with the road infestation.  He showed us what he called his own rental nightmare.

"When we got this place, it was mainly for my son," said Luther.  His son and daughter-in-law had a baby on the way.

Inside the Luther rental home, we saw rags used to dam up water leaking from the kitchen sink.

We saw light fixtures with alleged live wires exposed.

"I touched it. That's how I know," said Luther.

He also pointed out a toilet that never stops running, a rusty water heated, dismantled duct work and what appeared to be mold in the basement.

News Center 7's Layron Livingston called the landlord, who said the property had new wiring and there was nothing wrong in the house.

David Luther and his family were forced to find a new place to live.

As he moved out Luther said, "I wouldn't want to see another family go through this."

Court records show Luther was evicted for not paying rent.

Our investigation found many other Dayton renters were evicted this year for not paying rent.  

It has happened at the apartment building where Susan Johnson lives.  She says the apartment above her has a bedbug infestation.

"it's bad up there. Don't go in there.  If you do, shake yourself off or come down here and I'll spray you," said Johnson.

Susan is disabled and said she cannot afford to relocate right now. 

The resident upstairs did not want to be identified but she did show us the bedbugs under her furniture.

That landlord was also contacted by telephone and did not return our call.

Randall Smith of the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center says renters do have rights.

"The minute you sign that lease, you can force the landlord to repair those issues because he has to comply with the Ohio revised code," said Smith.

He also advises tenants to call their local health department and housing inspection department when problems arise.  

Escrowing rent, according to Smith, is a good legal option.

Dayton's mayor said the house filled with roaches could be forced to a sheriff's sale.  If the owners are late on their taxes one more year, James Manning could buy the place next door for that amount and do anything he wants with the property. .  

"What we have to do is find easier ways for citizens to take control of the neighborhood," said Leitzell. 

Manning said for now, he just wants to get rid of the roaches next door.  

For more information you can click the following link to view the Landord Tenant Handbook.

Dayton among cities with wildest swing in gas prices

Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 @ 1:31 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 @ 1:31 PM

            Kyle French, a UD student from Springfield, Ill., pumps gas on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, at a station in Dayton. CHRIS STEWART/STAFF
Kyle French, a UD student from Springfield, Ill., pumps gas on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, at a station in Dayton. CHRIS STEWART/STAFF

Listed among the nation’s top cities for the worst gas price volatility is the City of Dayton.

“The steep price hikes recorded in more than 25 cities in the Midwest dwarf the increases seen in the rest of the country,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “And nowhere is it worse than Ft. Wayne, Indiana. So far this year, Fort Wayne has recorded the highest single day average price hike -34 cents per gallon— among its three highest daily changes.

DeHaan said it is followed by Indianapolis (.32), Dayton (.31), Columbus (.30) and Toledo (.2)8.

DeHann said the figures represent the average of the three highest single-day price spikes and “Midwesterners have seen 30+ cent increases often enough to know they’re not a statistical anomaly.”

GasBuddy examined frequency of price changes and found the Midwest and West Coast regions led the way with the number of days that prices changed a penny or more per gallon.

“When we look at the number of days with average price decreases of more than a penny, we see the Midwestern cities more than doubling every other region in the country,” DeHaan said. “It’s the downside of that roller coaster ride that consumers easily forget. We complain about the higher highs, but we’re quiet when we benefit from the lower lows.”

Hurricane causing local gas prices to fluctuate

Published: Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 8:58 AM
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 8:58 AM

Area gas prices remained unsettled Monday as Hurricane Sandy prompted the shutdown of several key East Coast refineries but also squelched demand.

Prices for regular grade gasoline ranged from $2.93 a gallon at a Costco store in the Cincinnati area to $3.40 a gallon or more at several Dayton-area stations. The average price in the Dayton area rose more than 17 cents per gallon last week to $3.43, contrary to the national trend.

The national average has fallen 9.6 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.56 a gallon, according to

Including the change in gas prices in Dayton during the past week, prices Monday were 5.4 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 29.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, according to

“With Hurricane Sandy headed for the East Coast, there are a number of uncertainties in regards to the impact at the pump for various fuels,” said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “There is very little to look back at history and compare this storm to, and so far, it remains to be seen exactly how gasoline and diesel prices will be impacted.”

The biggest refineries in the Northeast shut down or throttled back on Monday in advance of Hurricane Sandy. Phillips 66 shut down its Linden, N.J. refinery, the second-biggest in the Northeast at 285,000 barrels per day. The biggest refinery in the area, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, was nearly shut. Most other big refineries in the Northeast were running at reduced capacity.

Sandy is powerful enough to down trees and powerlines and cause widespread flooding. Businesses could also be shut for days. If so, demand for gasoline and other oil products would drop sharply.

The power outages and the shutdown of major cities “may take a toll on demand unlike anything we have seen before,” wrote Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst for Price Futures Group, in a report. “The impact on demand may not last for hours but more than likely for days.”

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Services, said he expects the drop in demand for oil and refined products “will be about as significant as we’ve seen since Katrina made landfall” in 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Sears recalls Kenmore dehumidifiers

Published: Friday, August 03, 2012 @ 6:39 AM
Updated: Friday, August 03, 2012 @ 6:39 AM

Sears is recalling Kenmore dehumidifiers because of fire and burn hazards.

The dehumidifier can overheat, smoke, melt and catch fire. More than 100 people have reported the problem to Sears, citing more than $7 million in property damage and three reports of smoke inhalation injuries.

Consumers are urged to stop using the device immediately and contact Sears.

Ohio gas prices up slightly this week

Published: Monday, July 30, 2012 @ 9:11 AM
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2012 @ 9:11 AM

Ohio drivers can expect to pay about a penny more per gallon at the gas pump this week.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.46 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. That's up slightly from about $3.45 last week.

A year ago, the average in Ohio was $3.68.

Nationally, the average price for regular gas is about $3.49, about 2 cents higher than last week. The national average last year at this time was $3.71.

U.S. oil supplies swelled in June to 22-year highs but have declined since then.