Several weeks ago, I wrote about a case at 420 Lakeway Drive in which a rental unit that had passed inspection by a privately hired inspector in November 2016 had a plumber put his foot through the rotted bathroom floor several months later (Time to Audit Private Rental Inspections). Repairs are now being done on the property following an inspection by a city inspector. The unit must now pass a city inspection prior to its being made available once more for rental.
Now, we have a second rental unit located at 412 Lakeway Drive and owned by the same landlord whose inspection by a private inspector (possibly the same individual) is being brought into question. It appears that a serious water leak and subsequent mold that was reported to management just after the tenants moved in was not repaired, however, the private inspector passed the unit in November 2016. There were also reports to the property management, again prior to inspection, of rat infestation and of windows that were not operating properly. Here is a portion of the actual code enforcement complaint narrative provided to me by the mother of one of the tenants:
“[My daughter] moved in in September, 2016 and immediately discovered leaks and water intrusion in her room, the bathroom upstairs, the bathroom downstairs, the kitchen, among other areas in the home. My daughter, along with the other tenants, complained constantly to Lakeway Realty, only to be blown off, or they would eventually send someone over, but nothing was ever resolved. Shortly after they moved in, they discovered rats, but again this was ignored when they complained verbally. The ventilation in my daughter’s room wasn’t sufficient, and the fact they didn’t provide her with a working window/screen didn’t help matters. There were other windows through the house that also weren’t in working order. It’s now July, 2017, and these students are STILL dealing with bad ventilation, water intrusion, leaks, black mold and the health issues from being subjected to these conditions, as well as dealing with rats and the diseases they potentially carry. For these,and many other reasons, this house is uninhabitable, and should be condemned -not up for re-rental on 9/1/17 (as shown on their website), when these college kids vacate the day before on 8/31/17!... There is NO WAY this home can, nor should have passed any inspections, and certainly not within the time frame that my daughter was forced to reside there (September, 2016 - August, 2017).”
Again I call on the City Council to amend the rental inspection ordinance to require that private inspectors submit their inspection check sheets upon initial failure of a rental unit. The city also should perform random audits of rental unit inspections by a private inspector to avoid any chicanery and to verify performance of city authorized private inspection firms by municipal code inspectors.