HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - For months, the On Your Side Investigators have been looking into poor living conditions at Essex Village. The situation got so bad that criminal charges were brought against the owners, Essex VA Investors LLC, but on Wednesday, those charges were dismissed.
The judge ruled the charges were dropped because the maintenance issues were fixed. County leaders say the decision is pretty standard for these types of cases, as long as the landlord makes repairs.
NBC12 went back to Essex to see if repairs are being made. Crews were seen maintaining the lawns and replacing siding and balconies.
James Speller moved in about seven months ago.
"They've actually been coming around, doing quite a lot," he said. "They've been fixing the panels on the side of the houses, repairing carpets, repairing the A/C units, the floors and the damaged pipes."
Earlier this year, county leaders called the conditions "deplorable" because of plumbing issues, infestations and broken balconies. In one case, a pregnant woman fell from the second story.
Even though Essex Village must meet federal HUD standards, Henrico was able to file more than a hundred violations. 18 of the building code violations were taken to court. The judge dismissed the charges because the issues were fixed. A representative with VA Essex Investors LLC said they were glad the charges were dismissed.
County leaders say complaints about Essex have dwindled, but issues persist. The apartment complex failed its most recent HUD inspection in August, according to county officials.
"We're concerned," says Greg Revels, Henrico's building inspector. "You've seen the reports from HUD that they are still not compliant. Keep in mind, we've only looked at 15 percent for the total number of units in the complex, because that's all the people who have called us in for inspections."
NBC12 tried to ask the Essex Village rep about that.
"I don't have any further comment. I'm sure things will be taken care of in an ordinary way," she said.
Speller had this to say about the living conditions now: "I'm satisfied with mine. I can't speak for everybody else."
NBC12's Ashley Monfort did reach out to PK Management - who maintains the apartment complex - for comment. We have not heard anything back.
If you live at Essex Village and are still encountering issues you would like the county to look at, call 501-4360 or 501-4374.
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