Hearing on Code Enforcement Violations Involving 3 Complexes Delayed
Residents of several South Cobb apartment complexes who have complained about their living conditions will have to wait longer to have their day in court. Several dozen appeared in Magistrate Court Thursday to hear the case against involving their landlord, but the attorney for one of the owners requested a jury trial. That means the case will be moved to Cobb County State Court for arraignment at a later time.
"Tenants are understandably frustrated with today’s legal action of the apartment owners moving for a jury trial," said District Four Commissioner Lisa Cupid who urged residents to still contact county officials with issues inside their units. "Code enforcement only addresses matters outside of the apartment buildings or on the premises. The landlord still has the responsibility to make repairs inside of units and tenants can continue to contact the county for inspectors to assess whether their units are fit or safe enough to live in. "
Cobb County Code Enforcement issued the owners of the three complexes 85 citations for various violations in recent months. Despite the delay, Code Enforcement Manager Cathey Pickett says her officers will continue to monitor the complexes and issue more citations if necessary.
The delay frustrated some residents. "It is ridiculous. They should have gotten to the issue today," said Hunter's Grover resident Candida Pitts. "People are upset. We shouldn't be forced to live in these conditions while the owners are still collecting rent."
When Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce visited one of the complexes last week, residents complained of rats in their apartments, mold, and leaks.
Kerrison Chin operates Kanstar Properties, which is part owner of the Trinity, Hunter's Grove, and Kingsley Village complexes. Code Enforcement listed the citations in his name. He quickly left the courthouse, but an investor in the property group says she believes the owners are doing what they can to address the problems.
"When I visited the complexes I saw a lot of people working," said Linda Barischello. "I think the owners were told certain things were being repaired and were gobsmacked when they learned the work wasn't going on as fast as they were told. Since then they have been doing yeoman's work in making repairs."
The Cobb County Fire Marshal's Office also issued nine cases for unsafe conditions at the complexes. Each case carries a $500 fine. Those cases were expected to be resolved later in the day.
To view a video of Chairman Boyce's tour of the complex CLICK HERE
Ross Cavitt | Cobb County Communications | [email protected]