COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An apartment complex on the east side of Columbus has been hit with a preliminary injunction by the city, giving the owners a list of requirements to protect residents.
The owners of Latitude Five25, located on Sawyer Boulevard, are being required by the city to have constant security on the premises after the city said Columbus police have responded to more than 1,000 service calls in two years.
In addition, the owners, Paxe Latitude, must respond to maintenance requests within 24 hours, address emergency violations in both apartments and common areas within 36 hours, and take care of non-emergency violations within 14 days.
According to City of Columbus Attorney Zach Klein, between Jan. 7, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2022, police officers responded to calls of shots fired, shootings, overdoses, drugs, domestic violence, assaults, and fights at the complex.
“We have to be able to clean up the property cause the residents that pay rent there deserve that,” Klein said. “It’s a minimal standard, and I think that we ask of landlords in our community, and you have to live up to that minimal standard.”
A press release from Klein’s office also states the city’s code enforcement department has received complaints from tenants about unsafe and unsanitary conditions, insect infestations, and maintenance requests not being addressed.
“Columbus residents entering into a lease agreement should not have to worry if their landlords will complete routine maintenance and ensure safe, sanitary living conditions,” Klein said in the release. “Residents of Latitude Five25 have suffered for too long. That’s why we’re taking aggressive action to target violent crime and ensure safety and sanitary conditions to improve the quality of life for every resident.”
Tenants said they are fed up with the situation and are glad the city is taking action.
“You got old people in there that got to have light, got to have water, you know?” said resident Melvin Truitt. “I mean, it’s terrible. The hot water don’t work!”
Truitt has lived there for the past two years and says it’s not just the crime and violence that’s gotten out of hand, but also the lack of maintenance.
“I’m going to move out, yes I’m moving out! I’ve got to move out, I ain’t have no other choice,” he said.
“Part of that blame comes from management over there, too, and it’s just horrible: shootings, everything, drug sales, they do it all right out here,” said Dianne McCall, who lives near the apartment building.
Failure by ownership to conform to the court order could result in fines or possible jail time. Klein said the next court date for the property owners is in April.