City inspectors target apartment complex after Problem Solvers investigation

Posted at 12:09 AM, Mar 19, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. – City inspectors are now working with the management of an apartment complex that is the focus of an ongoing CBS 6 Problem Solvers investigation.

Tenants at the Flats at Ginter Parkin north Richmond have been calling the Problem Solvers.

For example, Felix Turner said that when the ceiling in his apartment collapsed, "it was like an explosion.”

Brenesha Ellis said living without heat in her unit was the worst.

"I want my money back and I just want to go,” Ellis said.

Susan Reuben's window.

Susan Reuben's window.

Susan Reuben told WTVR CBS 6 back in February that she reported a broken window to management months ago, but they only covered the hole with black tape.

"I’ve been asking them: please help me to do something about a window,” Reuben said.

Another tenant was fed up and disgusted by an ongoing issue involving raw sewage in a laundry room.

A broken lock at one unit.

A broken lock at one unit.

Since WTVR CBS 6 began investigating the complex, the serious complaints reported by tenants have gotten the attention of the city's Department of Code Enforcement.

"I think the tenants began to feel like maybe they weren't being taken seriously,” Richmond Department of Code Enforcement Operations Manager John Walsh said.

After a high turnover of employees at the Flats, Walsh said city inspectors are working with new management and maintenance staff.

"We're going back and re-inspecting and our inspectors have actually gone door-to-door in a lot of cases to try and follow up on some of these complaints that we weren't able to get into or people didn't call us about,” Walsh explained.

Walsh said inspectors are currently going through the 300 pending work orders that have now been cut in half.

"Were you surprised that they had 300 pending work orders?" Jones asked.

The Flats at Ginter Park

The Flats at Ginter Park

"I think you're always surprised to see a list that long," Walsh replied.

"We've issued some property maintenance violation notices for a number of different things: paint, plumbing, balconies -- that sort of stuff," Walsh said. "Mostly minor stuff, but we are working our way through that."

And if you're a city resident renting a home or an apartment, Walsh suggests calling the city before things get worse.

“We can take care of those things,” Walsh said. “Don’t wait until it’s a real problem or an unsafe condition. Get in touch with the city. Let us know that you’re having a problem. We will assign somebody to it.”

You can contact Richmond's Department of Code Enforcement at 804-646-6398.

Additionally, if you are a tenant at the Flats at Ginter Park or any other apartment complex, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

CBS 6 News is working for you. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.