Wellington Arms Apartment Complex in hot water again after some code violations not fixed

Wellington Arms Apartment Complex in hot water again after some code violations not fixed (Source: MGN Image License/ Photo: Pexels / CC0 1.0)

It’s been one month since hundreds of people were left without water at the Wellington Arms Apartment Complex.

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority said the water was turned off because the complex owed more than $21,000.

Ron Gaines said when his water was unexpectedly cut off, he was outraged.

The owners vowed to fix the rest of the complex’s problems, but Gaines said that has not been done.

"We've seen a little bit of help as far as with cutting the grass or manicuring the buildings and stuff, but they haven't done much other than that,” said Gaines.

Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill agrees.

He said several code violations have not been fixed, including an unsafe roof and windows that need repair.

"It was well over a month ago and this does not take a month to find a roofing contractor,” said Underhill. “I can assure you if it happened at your house, and you had a roof leak you could have a contractor out there pretty quickly."

Underhill said the violations pose health hazards and can affect the tenants’ quality of life.

Now the county is preparing to bring the case to court.

"We are in the process of putting together all of the paperwork necessary to take it to the special magistrate and it's a fairly solid cut and dry case. Here are what the rules are, here are the conditions on the ground,” said Underhill.

Underhill said if the owner does not make the repairs within a time-frame set by a judge, the county will fix the violations and charge the complex for the repairs.

The county would then place a lien on the property until the properties are paid for.

Some residents like Therese Aaron are remaining positive about the situation.

"We've got a maintenance man that comes around and does pick up the trash outside,” said Aaron. “He has come around and fixed our window, our sliding window."

Gaines said he’s not going to stop fighting for his neighbors, despite the consequences he believes that has caused.

“I was told my lease would not be renewed and I would basically be forced out of my home for stepping up and being an advocate for the men and women, and children that live at Wellington Arms Apartments,” said Gaines.

Gaines has filed a complaint with fair housing, but he said he is still being told his lease will not be renewed.

We reached out to the owners of the complex, FCA Partners LLC., but we still have not heard back yet.

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