Substandard living conditions prompt building inspection at N. White property

Acting on resident’s complaints of horrible living conditions, and squatters engaged in criminal activity, Kansas City MO Health Inspectors on Thursday morning responded to an apartment building at 110 N. White with Fire Investigators and Codes Inspectors to conduct a building inspection to determine the building’s habitability.

“We had received some complaints and some concerns about the property,” said Joe Williamson, Compliance and Code Enforcement Manager for the city’s Health Department.  “So we came out today to do a full walkthrough, going door to door knocked on those doors for those that were interested we introduced ourselves our purpose, and we were here for.”

In one unit, electrical service was limited to a single wall outlet with a power strip powering the entire unit. In another unit, residents pulled back curtains to expose bedbugs and roaches along the baseboard.

Clemons Property Management Company, who took over the management if the buildings earlier this summer had posted notices throughout the building announcing the inspection.  Maintenance personnel were on hand to accompany inspectors through the building and indicated that they were working toward remedying some of the more acute issues inside the building.

Prior to entering the building, investigators sprayed bug spray on their trousers to repel any bedbugs and roaches that had been reported in many of the units.

Shortly after arrival however the building was temporarily evacuated due to an ongoing gas leak in an unoccupied unit. All of the building’s occupants were told to leave the building immediately until the gas could be turned off at the source and the building aired out. Re-entry was allowed after roughly 20 minutes and the inspection process continued.

Reports were also made of squatters in the building who allowed a criminal element into the building, often dealing drugs and engaging in prostitution. While three units were occupied by squatters, someone without a verified lease, the person primarily responsible allegedly passed away approximately two weeks ago.

When it was all said and done, no acute, life threatening issues existed so the building was allowed to stay open. Citations were issued however to address a number of issues including raw sewage backed up in the basement, bedbug and roach infestations, the lack of operational fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, electrical issues and the proper securing of exterior doors.

“Our purpose is to get those what we call life safety issues, abated immediately,” said Williamson. “What we would consider non health hazardous ones we give them up to 10 days to get those corrected.”

Williamson indicated city staff would be following up to ensure that all of those items that were cited Thursday on the inspection report are abated.

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