Springfield landlord makes good on repairs to a building once labeled as dangerous

Published: Apr. 11, 2018 at 8:13 PM CDT
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A Springfield landlord has fixed a rental property that the city once labeled as unfit for anyone to live in.

Chris Gatley rented a unit to in an apartment home on Grant Avenue to Jonathon Richter. Richter saved up his money to get off the streets for good. Unfortunately, the one bedroom unit was falling apart.

Six weeks later the property was totally overhauled.

"Actually February 15th a building permit was issued," said Harlan Hill, Director of Building Services for Springfield.

That was less than 24 hours after inspectors tagged the building as an unfit dwelling.

"We had plumbing fixtures that were not proper. No smoke alarms. We had some holes or unstable flooring. This is pretty typical to what we do see," explained Hill.

These are major fixes that could take months to repair, not just weeks. The city allows for a period of up to 90 days for a building owner to comply with a dangerous building order.

That's if they don't request more time or a hearing.

"Yes it was fairly quickly compared to other structures that we have dangerous building issues with," said Hill.

The morning after our first report on this building aired, city inspectors came to check it out. It was slapped with a dangerous building warning. This forced everyone who lived in the building to move out.

Less than a day later Gatley applied and received the building permit required to make all the repairs.

"The awareness that you brought in the initial story probably helped to motivate that response," said Hill.

Six weeks later the building was found to be in good condition and cleared by the first round of inspections.

Hill said, "This property is not experiencing or going through any processes different than any other properties that we receive complaints on."

The city says they will continue to work to help provide safe and affordable housing to the community, one inspection at a time.

"It's definitely a partnership between the community and our department, obviously our resources are limited. We have to rely heavily on the community to bring these issues to our awareness," explained Hill.

Thursday, inspectors will give a final review of the property.

If they sign off and no other repairs have to be made the apartment home will be ready for people to live in it again.

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