Columbus leaders say they have reached a settlement to resolve the city’s largest public nuisance lawsuit in history.
Back in September, the city filed a lawsuit against AMG Realty Group fining them a $1,000 a day, totaling $75,000 for health and safety code violations.
“I contacted them about it but nothing was getting done,” said Ahnya Davis, a previous tenant at Mayfair Village Apartments.
Three months ago we met Ahnya Davis. She had just moved to the Mayfair Village apartment complex in May and experienced major concerns from rodent infestation to water damage.
She says the complex refused to fix any of these problems, forcing Davis and her family to move out in November.
“I moved out and now someone is already living there. So I know half of the issues that I dealt with the people are just living right on top of it,” said Davis.
“As the city attorney it is my job to hold those that are not being accountable to their tenants,” said city attorney, Zach Klein.
The Illinois-based AMG Realty Group is the owner of Hartford on the Lake, Fitzroy and Mayfair Apartments, operating a total of 802 units. The company agreed to pay the city $50,000 in fines and fix problems that have landed them on the list of the worst code violators in the city.
“As a result of the lawsuit and using the ability of the court to issue an order, we now have a $50,000 administrative fee that the mayor has indicated is going to go into eviction prevention,” said Klein.
AMG Realty Group will also have to:
- Adhere to a compliance schedule to resolve additional notices of violation that were issued at the premises after the city’s lawsuit was filed in September
- Conduct proactive maintenance assessments for pest control and all plumbing systems at the premises; all related actions must be done as soon as is practicable and documentation must be provided to the city within 14 days
- Provide quarterly maintenance questionnaires to all tenants
- Maintain on-site offices at all three apartment complex locations weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m; translation services, if necessary, must also be provided
- Employ a minimum number of 15 maintenance staff who are assigned to the three locations. An emergency/after-hours maintenance contact person also must be provided to city code enforcement officials
- Retain “replacement reserves” for maintenance expenses of not less than $450 per unit per year
- Develop and adopt maintenance tracking procedures. These measures include maintenance request forms submitted by paper, email, text or phone; creating tracking numbers; and defining strict time frames to respond and remedy maintenance requests
- Follow clearly defined refuse collection guidelines
- Ensure that daily litter-pickup of the entire grounds takes place at all three locations
- Hire private security guards who must be posted at the premises at all three locations. A primary security contact also must be designated for the Columbus Division of Police.
“We look at a case like this or any case, we look at how holistically improve the quality of life of residents there. Everything from the building itself to the safety of the occupants,” said Klein.