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Pointe resident refuses to sign nondisclosure agreement; toxic mold goes unchecked

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Zach Henson

Assistant News Editor

Upon trying to break her lease at the Pointe at Troy, Caitlyn Sebastian was told a professional contractor hired by the Pointe had to examine the issue, but according to her, the contractor never showed.

Sebastian’s family received a report showing 26 percent coverage of stachybotrys mold, a toxic and dangerous fungus, in an area tested near her pantry door by a privately hired contractor.

According to Sebastian, Jennifer Earles, the property manager at the Pointe, confirmed hiring a contractor to examine the mold issue on March 30.

While negotiating and examining the issue, the Pointe offered Sebastian the chance to transfer or stay in a hotel at the Pointe’s expense until the issue was settled.

“I don’t want (my) daughter in any of those rooms (at the Pointe) as they can’t guarantee it is free from the same issue,” Steve Sebastian, Caitlyn Sebastian’s father, wrote on Facebook.

On the night of March 27, Aryne Linder, the regional vice president of Asset Campus Housing, the Pointe’s management company, sent the Sebastian family an option to break the apartment lease. This agreement required that Caitlyn Sebastian “vacate the Leased Premises and remove any and all personal belongings from the Leased Premises on or before March 31” and return all keys to the leasing office by the same time.

“Our goal is to investigate this matter to its fullest as quickly as possible, once Caitlyn and her roommates have vacated the apartment,” Linder said to the Sebastian family in an email containing the agreement. “We are more than happy to accommodate her in another apartment, if you do not have other accommodations.”

After being asked about the contractor not showing up, Mark Evans of Asset Campus Housing Public Relations said in an email, “At this time we are actively working with the tenants to respond to their concerns, and our efforts are continuing.”

The agreement included a nondisclosure clause freeing the Pointe and Asset from “any and all damages, loss, lost wages, injury, claims, responsibility, liability, future medical expenses, future lost wages, or causes of action of any nature whatsoever.”

It additionally required the residents of the apartment to “keep the terms and conditions of the settlement and this Agreement in strict confidence” and dictated that they “shall not discuss the same with any person.”

If signed, the agreement would release the Sebastian family from paying any further rent but would not compensate them for past rent or the $650 requested by Steven Sebastian to cover the expenses of hiring a private contractor.

In a response, the Sebastian family wrote: “We will not be signing the agreement. We will not sign anything that will give our rights away for an issue that your company let happen through negligence.

“We will not be paying for any additional months due to your negligence.”