UPDATE: WKYT Investigates: A renter's disaster

STANFORD, Ky. (WKYT) - Update 11:30 UPDATE: The landlord, Pat Ferguson, contacted us last night. He says he did send his renter, Charles Perkins, a lease to be signed, but Perkins didn't sign the lease. Perkins claims he didn't sign the lease because he hadn't been paid for contract work he'd previously had done on the home. Ferguson denies getting any receipts for contract work.

Charles Perkins lives on Logan Avenue in Stanford, but he won't claim his home.
"It just wasn't the way I thought it was going to be. It didn't turn out the way I thought it would," Perkins explained.

The problems for Perkins started from the beginning, he said. The doors from of his decades-old home are covered with blankets to keep the heat in. An open oven in the back of the house is doing its best to warm up the home.
"This wasn't what I had in mind for retirement," Perkins said.

His bedroom and bathroom smells like sewage. He believes mold is taking over his bathroom and bedroom.
Outside there is more water damage. The crawl space has several feet of standing water.
"It's just a disaster area under there," Perkins said.

Perkins says his landlord agreed to have him move into the house and pay $100 a month for rent, if he did a little work around the house to keep it livable. No contract was written. Nothing was signed.
"I told him I'd treat it like my own and I'd put a little money in it and make it nice."

But a little money quickly turned to thousands of dollars, Perkins claims. The landlord stopped answering calls. Perkins stopped paying rent.

"You never want to do business or go into a renter/landlord relationship without some written lease spelling out each others responsibilities," said Ray Sexton, Director of the Lexington Human Rights Commission.

Sexton also warns that you should always pay your rent, no matter what the situation.
"No matter how bad the situation is, you've still got to pay your rent because that gives the landlord an outlet to just come and get rid of you."

"I grew up a man's word, handshake is a contract, bond. But I'll never do anything again unless I have a contract," Perkins said.

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