Columbus building inspectors crackdown on landlord

By Roslyn Giles  - email | bio

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus landlord is being forced to redo repairs on a dilapidated apartment building on 23rd Avenue and Andrews Road.

News Leader 9 brought you the story after tenants complained about living in deplorable conditions. The residents told WTVM, they were living with bit rats, no electricity and previously, no bathtub or toilet, which have since been reinstalled.

The tenants also called Inspections and Code Enforcement.  Rebecca Wiggins, Coordinator, conducted an inspection and said, "I've done a lot of inspections, but this is about as bad as I have seen."

Wiggins later held a meeting with the landlord.  According to Wiggins, the city is requiring the owner to undo the repairs and start over. Wiggins says the existing renovations do not meet code. The owner must also stop hiring unlicensed contractors to do the work.

The tenants say the owner offered to move them into another property, but the tenants refused because they didn't want to live with strangers in the same apartment.

The electricity has been cut off due to faulty wiring.  The owner would not let News Leader 9's cameras inside the building. He says the repairs just take time.

The landlord also owns the commercial building next door where Destiny Dog's is located. Kenny Williams, restaurant owner is also disgruntled. He says he's dealing with leaks and an escalated power bill due to roofing problems.

No timeline was given for the repairs to be completed.

News Leader 9 will continue to follow this story.

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