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Owners of condemned Sunset Village Apartments want to make repairs and sell

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 4:24 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A spokeswoman for the out-of-state owners of two Flint apartment complexes with a variety of building code issues admitted it’s too difficult for them to manage.

Sunset Village Apartments were condemned this week after city officials say someone either cut or stole the water pipes in the complex, leaving all of the residents without running water or heat. The owners also control Richfield Court Apartments in Flint.

A city worker posted notices of condemnation on the buildings at Sunset Village Friday morning, which now requires all residents there to move out within 10 days. Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s office currently is working with nonprofit organizations to find new housing for about 15 residents.

Owners of the complex have a deadline to fumigate, clean and board up the property. The owners’ spokeswoman, Patsy Barkley, said the owners of Sunset Village Apartments want to make repairs and sell the complex soon. They are speaking with a couple of potential buyers.

The owners are admitting that it’s too difficult to manage Sunset Village while living out-of-state.

“We’re gonna be meeting with the mayor the first part of next week. The mayor and the city has been really helpful. So we’re gonna do what we can to make that happen and maybe in getting people there to maintain, get the problems fixed if we can,” said Barkley, speaking on behalf of the owners.

The Flint Property Portal website lists the owners under the company name Flint 770 Investment LLC.

This week’s condemnation action resulted from more than the water and heat problems. The city’s notice also lists missing shingles on the roof, damaged doors and windows, inoperable plumbing, fire damage and piles of trash with no dumpsters.

The owners also owe an $884,939 water bill to the city. Neeley’s office says they last made a partial payment in December 2017.

When asked for the reasoning behind these issues, Barkley said there’s no explanation.

“We’re just going to have to find someone to make sure that that’s taken care of. It just has not been maintained well, the property,” she said.

Barkley said the owners hired one person to manage the complex, but they’ve had some issues with that person. She admitted that the ongoing problems ultimately fall to the owners.

“We’re in Florida and we’re just, there’s a long distance and it’s just not easy to be able to do that and effectively be able to manage the property if the owners are not there to make sure that the property is being maintained and managed well,” Barkley said.

She added that the owners want someone held accountable for vandalizing the water pipes, so they plan to file a police report. No investigation into the theft had started by Thursday because nobody reported it to the Flint Police Department.

The owners of Sunset Village also own the dilapidated Richfield Court Apartments on Flint’s north side, which also has several broken windows and buildings with significant fire damage. Barkley said the owners are planning to repair and sell that complex, as well.

There are a number of agencies that can help struggling tenants in Mid-Michigan, including Catholic Charities, the Red Cross and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Flint residents also can call the city’s new rental inspection unit when it becomes active later this month.

For residents in other parts of Michigan, the Michigan Legal Help website offers assistance to people handling legal problems without a lawyer. The State Bar of Michigan also offers a lawyer referral service.

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