Georgia Judge Places Apartment Complex Under Court Order

A FOX 5 I-Team investigation has led to a Judge issuing an order requiring the Woodridge apartment complex be repaired as living in deplorable housing conditions has become a growing problem in Georgia.

The investigation by the non-government FOX 5-1 took three-months. The result led housing inspectors to the Woodridge apartment complex in DeKalb County, which was cited over shocking living conditions.

Fox 5 Atlanta

As reported, when the FOX 5 I-Team visited the property this summer off of Panthersville Road, sludge could be seen dripping from a porch. The reporters “saw a unit with severe water damage. We saw trash piled up.” There were so many issues DeKalb County code enforcement officers, as stated in the article, “eventually cited property management 30 times for the living conditions.”

Fox 5 Atlanta

“Back in July, raw sewage filled a unit’s bathtub when the toilet flushed. It flooded in when then-resident Vartavius Thorpe’s young son was bathing. The stench coming from open windows in other buildings could make any passerby gag,” the report said.

Perhaps falling into the category of “a little bit late,” the attorney for Woodridge,  Linda Dunlavy, said in the magistrate court, that “her clients had gotten to work on the fixes prior to their court appearance.” Dunlavy alleged in early December: “They have arranged with a contractor to jet these sewer plumbing lines – these sewer lines on a quarterly basis. There are no active back-ups at this point in time.”

Dunlavy stated artfully to the judge that “the ownership is new and had inherited what she called ‘challenges.’”

In what, no doubt, Dunlavy thought would advance her client’s interests, she allegedly stated: “I think it’s important to know that Woodridge only came into title on this property less than a year ago.”

Tenants saw things differently. “Back in July they had been complaining for some time to prior management, current management, and anybody who would listen.” Thorpe told FOX I-Team that he had been complaining since I been here, which was three years.

The FOX 5 I-Team told Woodridge management over the summer that tenants were living in trouble conditions. In October, we emailed the owners, Sundance Bay Income & Growth, a private equity fund in Utah. “We called that same team in November. Nothing.”

As alleged in the article, three months after we pointed out the issues, the county still found the living conditions terrible. By inference, the county did nothing.

Judge DeNorris Heard seemed pleased with the repair process prior to coming to court, but acknowledged there’s still much to do. “It sounds like you have a long laundry list to get done,” Judge DeNorris said.

D & B Staff

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