Judge orders relocation of group of north Columbia renters by the landlord or the city if necessary
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Richland County judge has ordered the ownership company of a north Columbia rental property to relocate its residents while vital repairs are made to the complex.
If it doesn’t, the City of Columbia is required to step in and charge the company for the service.
The apartments are located at 1218 Hyatt Avenue. A group of residents has been living without heat and hot water after city officials responded to a gas leak and arranged for the gas to be cut off earlier this month.
Code enforcers identified a lack of adequate carbon monoxide detectors, rotting structures, and other code violations.
The property is owned by Indigo 52, LLC. Both city officials and tenants told WIS they have struggled to get in contact with the company in the aftermath of the gas leak being cut off.
“Throughout this whole ordeal, we have not heard from Indigo Properties to offer a statement, an apology, anything like that,” Hyatt Avenue resident Terrence Cunningham said.
Cunningham admitted to withholding rent, which puts him at risk of eviction. However, that does not alleviate the landlord’s responsibilities to keep up the property.
City attorneys have filed in the Richland County court, requesting a judge ordered the company to make repairs and provide temporary housing.
Additionally, the city cited the company for operating 39 rental units illegally, without a rental permit.
Those addresses include:
- 1225 Ashley Avenue
- 3907-3909 Lamar A venue
- 4411 Windermere A venue
- 4514 Colonial Drive
- 4917 Norman Street
- 4918 North Main Street
- 5200 Randall A venue
- 5403 Cabot Avenue
- 5701 North Main Street
- 5705 North Main Street
- 1114 Oakland A venue
- 920 Rosedale Avenue
- 933 Jackson Avenue
The city’s legal team asked the judge to order the company to not collect rent nor move to evict tenants from the units until the necessary documentation is obtained.
On Thursday, a Richland County judge issued the relocation order and set a Feb. 27, court date to address the permitting and other issues.
WIS spoke with two residents at Hyatt Avenue who said they were not aware of the order until WIS presented them with it.
“I’m glad that you came and told us about it because otherwise, we’d be sitting in the dark. Wouldn’t know nothing,” resident Cynthia Joyner said.
The court documents show the city has been in contact with Mary Twitty, who described herself as “the owner’s representative.”
Twitty is scheduled to be in court on March 1, for a series of code violations related to the Hyatt Avenue property.
WIS’ attempts to contact her today were unsuccessful.
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