Memphis files lawsuit against Park Place Apartment owners - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphis files lawsuit against Park Place Apartment owners

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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ORANGE MOUND, Tenn. (FOX13) -

New developments tonight in a story we've been working for you all week.

The City of Memphis has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Park Place apartment complex.

MORE: City of Memphis, Tenn. v. National Loan Investors, L.P.

The lawsuit was filed in Judge Potter's environmental court within the last hour. It states the city has found the Park Place Apartment Complex to be dangerous and uninhabitable.

The city also determined who owns the building.

The former owner was foreclosed on December 19th and now it's owned by National Loan Investors, L.P.; a Delaware company which is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That's the company being sued by the city.

We first introduced you to some of the families living in the building on Monday.

MORE: Memphis leaders moving apartment residents to hotels

WATCH VIDEO: Woman firing gun outside of apartment    

MORE: Shots ring out at apartment complex as frightened tenants scurry for cover

The water is cut off, there is no heat, and the conditions are deplorable. The people living there say the owners just walked away but they still collected rent on December 1st.

MORE: Memphis councilman helps family move

The city moved the six remaining families into a motel last night. They'll be working with them to find new places to live.

Mayor Wharton says the city needs more authority from the state to deal with these types of problem properties. The owners owe back taxes going back two years and there were several code enforcement violations on the property.

Mayor Wharton says, "What I'm wanting is that when we see something like this keep in mind human beings are living there and in many times the owners are living way off somewhere living the life of luxury. And it's just something that nobody should tolerate and we don't want to but we've got to have more authority to move more quickly."

We reviewed county property records and found the original owner of the Park Place Apartments owns four other apartment complexes on North Seventh Street.

Neighbors there are complaining of some of the same problems the people at Park Place are dealing with. Several of the buildings had abandoned units that are open, they were gutted inside.

People are paying their rent, but nothing is being done to keep the property up.

City officials say code enforcement officers will be heading out to check on those properties.

This lawsuit would require the new owners to the Park Place Apartments to either make improvements to the building or tear it all down.

There's a hearing scheduled for January 13th and in the meantime the city will be helping the displaced families find new places to live.   

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