5 On Your Side

More Allegations Made Against Area Landscaper

Posted March 28, 2007 5:41 p.m. EDT
Updated March 28, 2007 7:05 p.m. EDT

— More complaints complained about a local landscaper with a long history of problems.

During the almost nine years that 5 on Your Side has dealt with allegations against Tim Wrenn, he has operated landscape companies under several different names. The issues listed are very similar, as has the responses to WRAL’s calls -- until now.

Last October, Monica and Jamal Jones hired Wrenn, owner of South Valley Landscaping and Masonry, to spruce up their yard.

“He was going to pull up these bushes right here and move them to the back yard,” Monica Wrenn told 5 on Your Side.

Wrenn was also supposed to plant trees, make a flower bed and lay sod for a total cost of $4,000. Since Jamal Jones had previously worked on Wrenn's home audio system-- the couple went ahead and paid him $2,000 up front.

“We usually don't just give people money until they finish the job, but of course since my husband had known him previously, we went ahead and gave him 50 percent down because he said he needed the money to buy the materials,” Monica Jones said.

But she said weeks passed without a word from Wrenn, so she called him repeatedly.

“He kept giving me different stories,” Monica Jones said. “He had pneumonia. He had bronchitis. He had the flu. It was raining.”

In November, she asked for her money back. She said Wrenn told her the check was in the mail, but the couple never received it.

The Jones’ story is similar to several previous alleged incidents involving Wrenn. In 1998, a homeowner complained to 5 on Your Side she paid Wrenn -- who then operated under the name Autumn and Aquatic -- more than $2,000 for landscape work that she wasn't happy with.

In 2000, Wrenn took money from another homeowner to build a water garden, but then left the yard a mess. After 5 on Your Side called, he refunded the homeowner $2,500.

In 2005, Wrenn -- then operating as Southern Exterior Concepts -- ripped up a yard and left unplanted trees withering in the summer heat for several weeks. He didn't finish the job until he got a call from 5 on Your Side.

The Better Business Bureau now lists eight complaints against him.

Thus far, 5 on Your Side has been unable to reach Wrenn regarding the Jones’ dispute. His phone numbers are disconnected and he is no longer at the address previously used.

Wake County real estate records show until recently, Wrenn and his wife, Alicia Hair, owned a $600,000 house in Raleigh. The new owners of the residence told 5 on Your Side that several people, including police investigators, have called or come by looking for him. Wrenn is due in court next month on bad check charges.

Janet Jones said she realizes she may not get her money back, but she does want to get the word out about Wrenn.

“He's probably getting rich ripping people off,” she said. “He doesn't actually have to buy any materials so he's put all that money into his pocket. He's probably a wealthy man right now.”

To see if a landscape contractor is properly licensed within the state of North Carolina, go to the North Carolina Landscape Contractors’ Registration Board's Web site.