City of Atlanta taking steps to improve conditions at apartments

The City of Atlanta has removed some obstacles to forcing property owners to fix up or close down. 

A police commander used images of rats the size of cats, mold, and trash at a multifamily unit on North Creek Parkway to report on some of the serious problems facing apartment residents. 

Calling the case "deplorable," Major Brian Schiffbauer pointed out exposed wiring, problems with the pool, and roof damage from rain.

In cases like these, the owner typically is cited. And then a second notice is given, perhaps a third. 

But frustrated residents see no action, and they make complaints to city officials. 

"We can't continue to have folks living in these conditions and also what we find is that it's a nuisance on the county," Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd says.

Sheperd says when properties deteriorate without action from the government citizens suffer, so she and the Atlanta City Council say they took action so that the stalling game played by lawyers for some owners would end. 

The council amended the law allowing the city to take action even if those citations are ignored. 

And if a property is condemned, what happens to those tenants?

"We notify the residents ahead of time to let them know what is about to happen," Sheperd said. "We work with them to get them into another place, a home that is better than what they left." 

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