RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The push to get hot water running again at Ashton Square apartments has come to head. Apartment management is telling some neighbors to be out by Wednesday.
The management company says it has reason to believe the city will condemn three buildings. The city is fighting back, saying Ashton Square posted the notice on residents doors, not city officials.
5th District Councilman, Parker Agelasto told NBC 12 that the notice is inaccurate, not appropriate, and an attempt to make the city look bad.
KRS Holdings, management company for Ashton Square apartments, isn't saying anything. No one there has returned any of our calls on Monday.
12 Investigates started looking into complaints about the complex in early February, after several residents called complaining they haven't had hot water for months. Just recently, a woman came forward, who says she hasn't hot water since last August.
It appears all efforts to find a resolution, fix the boiler and pipes hit the fan, when KRS Holdings told tenants late Friday to get ready to move because the city had plans to condemn three buildings.
The City is taking issue with that.
"Frankly, the buildings can be inhabited," said Councilman Parker Agelasto. "There's no risk of life or limb from somebody being in the building, so to work out a solution with the landlord and with the city and with the tenants can be done. I think right now we're at a point where we have a landlord who's just saying, 'I'm not really interested in following through on that. If it comes to me doing the repairs or me evicting people, uh, I'd rather evict them.' That's something that the city really doesn't want to see."
NBC 12 reached out to the property managers for comment but haven't heard back. Meantime, tenants are in a precarious position, unsure of what to do now.
"Clearly, the city has an obligation to its residents," said Councilman Agelasto. "In this situation, the city is doing what it can under the law to help provide quality housing for these tenants and to give them their rights. They're paying rent and they do have rights under the law...The city can work on the permitting and alteration schedule and give the landlord some time. We do that with every code enforcement case where the landlord is showing us that they're making progress towards resolving the problem. In this situation, I think the landlord might have just decided, 'I'm going to give a letter, and we'll see what happens there.'"
A tenant called to say she saw plumbers out working and that the property managers are talking about moving some tenants into hotels until the work is finished and then moving them back. We don't have confirmation on any of that right now, since KRS Holdings has not returned any of our calls.
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