RAYTOWN, MO (KCTV) — The city of Raytown is taking the owner of a large apartment complex to court after finding no progress has been done since inspectors found multiple fire and building code violations two weeks ago.
The Raytown fire department responded to calls from the Suncrest Apartment complex on Sunday May 18. Heavy rain was pouring into several apartment units through the ceiling and walls. Firefighters did what they could to help by offering trash cans to collect water, turning off electric breakers to soaking rooms, and punching holes in swollen ceilings so they didn’t cave in.
The following Monday, city and fire inspectors found a long list of violations. The city gave apartment ownership two weeks to repair leaky roofs, and the fire department gave 30 days to repair a long list of fire code issues.
“They haven’t done nothing,” tenant Neshell Robinson said. “They said it’s got to stop raining before we fix the roof, and then once we do that we can come fix your unit. But nobody’s came out.”
Robinson lives on a second story unit. Her bedroom filled with water soaking her mattress and ruining shoes. She says she’s emptying several buckets of rain water over the course of two weeks.
“Basically the ceiling was puffy since I moved in. It took a lot of rain to break it through it,” she said.
The city of Raytown sent KCTV5 the following statement Monday afternoon:
“The City’s building official inspected Suncrest earlier today and did not see progress from the ownership to complete the property repairs. However, during inspection no additional visible damage was found. The City of Raytown will be issuing a summons to the Suncrest Apartments owners to appear in municipal court for lack of property maintenance. Typically, the owner will be required to appear in court in about 30 – 60 days. City staff will conduct weekly inspections until all work is completed.”
Raytown Fire Marshal Mike Hunley says the fire department expects the apartment complex to have made “significant progress” by Friday in regards to the long list of fire code violations found. If the repairs are not made by the end of the 30 day time frame given two weeks ago, he says the city may have to consider starting the process to condemn some buildings. Hunley said the city prefers to avoid that, since it would leave many tenants with nowhere to go.
Robinson is already in that situation. She relies on Section 8 housing vouchers to help pay rent. The housing authority deemed her apartment unlivable, and gave her a voucher to find a new one-bedroom apartment.
“A lot of apartments don’t even have one bedrooms, they just have twos and threes like this one. They don’t even have one bedrooms, and the ones that do, the ones I have called, say ‘oh we don’t have none available. We’re full,’” she said.
The housing authority will not pay rent to the Suncrest Apartments for June, and Robinson does not know what to do. She has nowhere to go.
An apartment manager told KCTV5 on the phone that the complex is working to repair all violations, but has had to hold off working on roofs due to recent rain. She said work on roof repairs will start Friday. She also said the apartment owner had no interest in speaking with KCTV5.
Meanwhile, Robinson feels stuck in a soggy apartment.
“I’ll be glad to go somewhere. I can’t keep living with issues like this while everyone else is living comfortable,” she said. “ I just don’t know where to go.”