Category Archives: Commentary

Property Nuisance Suits City of Columbus

City Attorney Files Largest Nuisance Suit In Columbus History
By CLARE ROTH • SEP 19, 2018

Columbus leaders announced the largest public nuisance lawsuit in the city’s history today, naming three large multi-building apartment complexes with 802 units owned by one realty group.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein says one complex, the Mayfair Village Apartments on East Broad Street near Whitehall, had a multitude of health, sanitation and safety violation. In June, the city began fining the company $1,000 a day.

“Those fines have now racked up over $75,000, so this really is a last resort,” Klein says.

Klein says the city started working with the property management group AMG in early 2017, but they failed to fully comply.

“There’s a litany of things: extensive water damage, inoperable furnaces, damaged walls and ceilings, a ceiling actually collapsed on an individual, someone fell through a steps, mold, drains, lighting fixtures with exposed wires that are live wires that someone could get electrocuted, roach infestations, rodent infestations,” Klein says.

But Klein says there’s no immediate danger for tenants.

“We are not looking to shut them down and relocate 802 units, because there’s no immediate threat,” he says. “What we are looking to do is use the court process to compel this individual to fix these properties immediately.”

While the City Attorney’s office has gone after, and closed, apartment complexes as recently as last month, Klein says this case is different – it’s about quality of life, instead of crime.

“Shutting down places, most of the time, it’s in conjunction with police,” Klein says. “It’s about violence, it’s about drugs, it’s about gangs. This time, it’s about poor quality of life.”

The lawsuit also involves AMG’s Hartford on the Lake comlpex near Noe-Bixby Park, and the Fitzroy Apartments just off Morse Road.

The lawsuit is filed in Franklin County Environmental Court.

http://radio.wosu.org/post/city-attorney-files-largest-nuisance-suit-columbus-history?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#stream/0
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Until the city passes legislation to treat any property being rented whether a company, LLC, or individual as a defined business with a set of rules and regulations with specific definitions, compliance, and enforcement, this problem with continue to fester.

Start with

  1. Required registering of all rental properties with a better yearly required valid contact information to include a valid email.
  2. In addition to this there should be a mechanism next to the contact number to quickly report if the contact info is not valid so that the auditors office can take action for incorrect information. This is technology that can easily be implemented and at least follows the principal that the city needs to provide better resources so citizens can “partner” with the city so that the city can have reliable information on property owners whether, owned, rented, or bank owned and take more timely action when citizens report a concern to code enforcement. There are many people that try to report issues but get stuck immediately on the first page
  3. Properties for profit rentals, etc should have to pay an administration fee or rental tax or rental license fee to the city for this. We tax everything else why not these properties that our renting in our communities and taking advantage of our city resources of trash pickup and community maintenance, hence our BIG major bulk trash situation MOSTLY caused by rental properties!
  4. As a home owner we pay to have trash removed based on average occupancy of a single home dwelling and most likely taking into account the turnover of the property. Properties that are rented should have to pay a higher fee because their trash burden to the city is more substantial than my usage.
  5. Out of state property owners, companies, or LLCs should be required to have a local property manager.
  6. Properties for rent should have a certification statement from a governing agency of acceptable living conditions similar to the requirements sent forth in order to have a property certified as Section 8.
  7. Rental properties formed as LLC’s should be required to show their Profit-Loss Statements. This information should be readily available on the Auditors site.
  8. Rental contracts that have to be filed with the city with specific language that includes code enforcement requirements of maintaining a property in the city this would include language in the contract that if a tenant for example fails to maintenance a property such as mowing, snow removal, etc or code enforcement the owner is immediately responsible regardless of whether language is specified in the contract of renter responsibility.
  9. The city should provide services to a property owner that rents to compose and have a sheet listing city services, rules, etc. This can even go further and include local block-watches and nearby community organizations.
  10. The city should compose and have available to rental property owners a list of expectations, city services, how to use, etc for all renters. The property owner renting should be required to hand out to every renter and every time they rent to a new renter.
  11. The eviction process needs to be changed to remove the “set out” process of evicted tenants. This just contributes to our trash and blight problem in our communities.
  12. The property owner is responsible for the proper removal of tenant belongings left in a property and not allowed to be set out as bulk for the city to have to take care of.
  13. There should be an “Angie’s List” of some kind that is easily assessable for both tenants and landlords to check the “rating” factor of both tenants and landlords.
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My first bulk up request

I’ve definitely been an advocate and promoter for city services especially refuse, recycle and yard waste collection and bulk pick up but being a first time user of the bulk pick up service I must say I am very disappointed in my service request not being fulfilled. I came home to find that it hadn’t been picked up and when I looked up the ticket number it had been marked closed with no explanation. I called Columbus311 this morning and was told that it was construction debris! I advised that I didn’t understand how because it consisted of larger household items, furniture, trash cans, pictures, buckets, brooms etc that would not fit in my 90 gallon trash receptacle. I also said that I had a shopping cart nearby that frequently ends up in our alley and it was sitting next to it as well as two large glass door inserts that were going to be picked up by someone else but in no way was included in the bulk pickup. Apparently since they were in close proximately that warranted not picking up anything and that they don’t “pick thru” the items to ascertain what will be taken. Given that the bulk items were all grouped together I ponder what sorting thru had to be done. I figured they just saw what they wanted to see and concluded that it was all construction debris instead of realizing the items grouped together as household bulk. Puts a sour taste in one’s mouth who has always advocated bulk service and always worked hard to keep our alley the best in the area and unfortunately another example of advocating for services that end up being problematic after encouraging neighbors to use the services. I did get a call from the supervisor who is still researching what had happened but said it will be picked up tomorrow. Meanwhile I’m out there looking at the pile of remaining items as several pieces seemed worthwhile for others to want (well aside from the mop I had put out and found one street over yesterday evening when I was out walking the dog with my neighbor!) to be sure nothing “appeared” to be construction debris.

Sigh, my time is short here – I’m worn out and I’m pretty serious when I say my next home will be out in the country with my only worries being fending off the wildlife!

[Update: 08/10/18/Friday/All picked up this morning!]

#bulk
#services
#ServiceFail
#trash
#community
#WestgateHeights
#WestgateHeightsCommunityAlliance
#ColumbusOH
#ColumbusOhio
#Columbus
#OH
#Ohio

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Mouse in the house and all that’s related

A new family on the street shared with me about the terrifying incident of finding a mouse in their house! I said welcome to the west side Hilltop of Columbus, Ohio and that thankfully with the soon removal of the 300 gallon trash receptacles, this may help alleviate part of this problem. Now of course my neighbor behind me that hasn’t spoken to me for over a year because he was and is convinced that I caused the removal of the 300 gallon trash receptacles in my alley causing him a tremendous hardship of having to wheel his 90 gallon trash receptacle out to the alley every Wednesday via his totally filled up two car garage. Of course my suggestion of him fixing his damn gate might help with his current plight and inconvenience but alas being a maintenance person of several properties on the westside, he just didn’t feel he should have to fix his gate to take out the trash and that the city is violating his rights because of this! Now back to the mice, I find it interesting with all the stray and feral cats running the neighborhood that we really shouldn’t have such a problem but again alas with all the kind hearted folk who insist on putting out cat food on their porches and on abandoned properties to feed these little darlings; Well why work to eat when you can just wait to be fed? A truly American concept, no?

#mouse
#house
#trash
#cats
#FeralCats
#StrayCats
#GonnaMissMyHouse
#GonnaMissMyHood
#GonnaMissColumbusOH
#GonnaMissColumbusOhio
#GonnaMissColumbus
#WestgateHeights
#WestgateHeightsCommunityAlliance
#ColumbusOH
#ColumbusOhio
#Columbus
#OH
#Ohio

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Commentary

$685,000 for the new Shot Spotter equipment. Yay, that the Westside Hilltop is part of the pilot program, Nay that as with a high percentage of calls made to our CPD Dispatch from the Westside Hilltop – “we are too busy to dispatch or address your concern”. So question: When our Columbus City Council stamped this $685,000 purchase was more money allocated to our CPD to support and respond to this new technology? New Year’s Eve 2018 shall give us an answer!

#ShotSpotter
#commentary
#community
@ColumbusPolice
#CPD
#ColumbusDivisionPolice
#ColumbusPolice

#MoneyAllocationForEquipmentPurchaseButNotImplementation
#SpendingWisely
#CandyCoating
#CityOfColumbus
#CityOfColumbusServices
#OH
#Ohio
#ColumbusOH
#ColumbusOhio
#Columbus
#USA

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“Free” online is not free

Let’s be perfectly clear, when you get something for free online or a free online service, you are in some way paying for it. It may not be monetary to you but a wealth of information to the provider. Facebook, free game apps for your smartphone, and free online services all do it to gather information on you whether it be a one time affair or a continuous gathering of information on you such as Facebook. Most are harmless but having this information compiled on you just makes it a goldmine for unscrupulous third party companies or individuals to make a fortune on. In the 21st century it’s not about stealing your money it’s about stealing your identity and individuality!

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress
By: Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Updated: Apr 10, 2018 – 7:44 PM
https://www.wsbtv.com/news/trending-now/live-updates-facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-to-testify-before-congress/730128159

Equality is for all and needs participation from all

All this talk of equality today and equality for all…but yet I see Dr King’s message lost daily when I’m looked at as a white guy and automatically perceived with status. I was brought up to look beyond color and to listen and communicate accordingly but yet I see, I see just like a person of color a bias and I struggle and make that extra effort to show that I am only and individual, an individual trying to communicate with another individual but a lot of times it is daunting and sure dwindles that desire to just wanting to make a connection. I know I’m not the only person that feels that way, perhaps just the only person willing to admit it. I will continue to treat everyone like I would want to be treated but I will not treat anyone with special status just because they may have been considered unequal by others.

Homeowners Association (HOA) bans flying of American Flag

No Homeowners Association (HOA) should have it in it’s rules that one cannot fly an American Flag conversely anyone in the Homeowners Association knew of the rules before buying into the community. So don’t cry patriotism and your rights being violated even with the “Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005” when you put up your 15 foot flag pole. There is a reason your HOA has the rules in effect and most likely attracted you to the community. Get on the HOA board and get the rules changed to everyone’s agreement.

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