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7 months after apartment complex goes into receivership, tenant seeing a difference

Colonial Village Apartment (WSYX)
Colonial Village Apartment (WSYX)
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Bobby Richards said he is no longer worried when he walks through his Colonial Village neighborhood more than six months after the apartment complex was ordered to be fixed up and sold.

"It's getting better, it's getting a whole lot better," Richards said.

In March the Columbus City Attorney's office received a judgment against the owners of Colonial Village, claiming the landlords failed to fix deplorable living conditions and safety violations.

Columbus Environmental Judge Stephanie Mingo held the owners in contempt of court and imposed a $50,000 fine against property owners.

"We have tools in our arsenal to file litigation to make the public safe first and foremost," City Attorney Zach Klein said.

Colonial Village is not the only property on the city prosecutor's radar.

Klein said Wedgewood Village apartments in the Hilltop have taken steps to improve security and living conditions but the city is now asking owners to add security lighting, cameras, and fencing to the property.

"They've been very responsive to the demands," Klein said.

The Westside apartment complex has seen its fair share of criminal activity in the past few years. There have been two shootings within the past week. A woman and two boys were wounded, including a 13-year-old who was shot and killed.

Last month, The city attorney's office said it filed a motion claiming Latitude Five25 apartments failed to meet terms of an agreement requiring owners to improve living conditions, where residents went without electricity, water, and elevator service for periods of time. A hearing is scheduled for next week.

In August, the city attorney's office filed a lawsuit alleging Southpark Apartments in Franklinton be declared a public nuisance after years of alleged code violations and criminal activity, that included prosecutors say more than 800 calls for police service. City prosecutors have asked the court to order management to present a plan to bring the properties into compliance with city code and to take steps to stop criminal activity

ABC 6 attempted to reach the owners of Latitude Five25 and Southpark apartments but they could not be reached for comment.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther told ABC 6 all apartment complex owners need to make sure their tenants are safe

"You need to step up with lighting, if you need special duty officers you need to have those, and we need the residences in those complexes to help as well," Ginther said.

Richards said he hopes other properties begin to see a difference, like the one he is seeing at Colonial Village

"Things are improving, still a lot of work needs to be done," Richards said.

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