The landlord of three troubled South Cobb apartment complexes is facing up to $85,000 in fines and potential jail time over what residents call “uninhabitable” conditions.
Cobb spokesperson Ross Cavitt confirmed the landlord, Kerrison Chin, had racked up 85 county citations and has a history of being uncooperative with code enforcement. A Cobb Magistrate Court hearing is scheduled for March 7.
Chin could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Carter Clayton, said he could not comment but confirmed that his client resides in Canada.
The three complexes—Kingsley Village, Parkview and Hunters Grove Apartments—are all located near Riverside Parkway, not far from Six Flags amusement part. Residents who gathered for a press conference Thursday described leaks, mold, rodents as well as broken flooring and appliances they said the management refused to replace.
Monica DeLancy, founder of the Riverside Renters Association, an advocacy group for tenants in the community near Six Flags, and a parent resource specialist with Cobb County Schools, said the apartments kept coming up in discussions with the community about unsafe housing.
She was particularly frustrated that the magistrate court had twice rescheduled Chin’s hearing after residents made an effort to show up for it.
“The same court, when the tenants go in there for eviction, they’re only given seven days to either have the money or move out,” DeLancy said. “They’re not given continuation. They’re not given time to review their case. But code violators get a reset.”
Nandi Jackson, 25, said she is a disabled Navy veteran and a resident of Kingsley Village who pays $900 a month in rent. She said she lived without a working shower for more than a month and that her sink leaks every time she or her neighbors flush the toilet.
Jackson said the property manager has ignored a court order to move her to a better unit, and threatened her with eviction when she refused to pay rent because of the problems.
“This is depressing,” she said. “Every day I wake up I cannot believe I live here.”
Jackson said she is saving to buy a house and can’t afford to break her lease, which would cost $1,800.
Several other residents said they depend on federal assistance, which the building manager told them was paid late this year. The residents blame the partial government shutdown. Now, they are being assessed for late fees they cannot afford.
One resident, who declined to give her name because she is receiving homelessness assistance, called the building “nasty” and “uninhabitable.” She said the government agencies and non-profits that subsidize housing aren’t doing enough to pressure landlords over living conditions.
“These programs that exist are paying slumlords with no questions,” she said. “My stove hasn’t worked in a week.”
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