COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After periods without power or hot water, no elevator service, flooding, and trash at Latitude Five25 Apartments, the city has taken its owners back to court.
On Friday, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announced the city filed multiple contempt motions against Paxe Latitude, owners of Latitude Five25 Apartments on Sawyer Boulevard.
“In recent weeks, residents have endured significant periods without electricity, hot water and elevator service, as well as flooding and accumulation of trash throughout on site,” City Attorney Zach Klein said in a media release. “Just this week, electricity service to Latitude Five25 was discontinued due to management nonpayment of utility bills.
“On multiple occasions, the City has responded to concerns of Latitude Five25 residents by deploying social service providers for assistance, but felt it was time to take further legal action to hold property owners accountable.”
Latitude Five25 has two towers of 15 stories each, with almost 400 apartment units. In 2016, the buildings were sold to Skyview Apartment Towers for about $14 million but transferred in 2021 to Paxe Latitude of New Jersey for no cost, according to earlier reporting.
In March, Klein said more than 1,000 calls had been made to Columbus police regarding the apartments in two years. It also documented filthy living conditions.
One motion for contempt requests security and the other requests fines and payment of utilities to address unsanitary conditions. The city alleges there were no building personnel on site when Columbus fire responded to three calls in July and August.
“We want to work with property owners to ensure residents have a safe, clean place to call home, but continued violations of the terms of the court order and failing to meet the basic human needs of tenants forced the City to step in to protect residents,” said Klein. “We will hold any and all landlords accountable for failing to maintain livable conditions for their residents.”