BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore City attorney is cracking down on what he calls “slumlords” plaguing the city. The attorney says some people are living in unacceptable, unhealthy and unsafe neighborhoods because of landlords taking advantage of people living in government housing.
Rochelle Ritchie spoke to a woman who lives in such an environment.
The woman says her house is mice-infested and there is mold growing behind her kitchen appliances. She’s just one of 76 people listed in the lawsuit.
It’s as thick as a bestselling novel, but the story it tells is anything but enjoyable.
“It is infested with rats, mice, roaches,” said attorney Billy Murphy.
In a lawsuit, Murphy says the owners of Madison Park North Apartments have neglected the tenants while they live a lavish lifestyle in a multi-million dollar home equipped with an Olympic-sized pool in California.
“We’re filing a massive 220-page lawsuit to address the horrible maintenance, horrible hazards, horrible crime situation that goes unaddressed by the landlord, Shelby Kaplan Sloan,” Murphy said.
We reached out to Sloan and her company, Tricap Management, by phone and email about the allegations against them; no one has responded.
“She’s supposed to provide safe and sanitary housing for each and every resident. That’s not what we get,” said resident Yolanda Pulley.
Another woman who did not want to be identified showed WJZ the numerous problems lurking in her apartment and many others.
“It’s not even catching. This is one of the problems I had before,” she said.
The woman showed WJZ several mice holes, mold and indications of termites throughout her home.
“It’s not safe. It’s not sanitary,” she said.
Some residents say they’ve lived without power for at least a month because of faulty electrical wiring that has a risk of catching fire. Because of moldy drywall, their children have developed serious respiratory issues.
Councilman Nick Mosby says getting rid of slumlords could be the first step in turning some Baltimore neighborhoods around.
“When we talk about moving our city forward and moving our communities forward, we have to eliminate blights such as this from our community,” Mosby said.
In an article with the LA Times, Sloan–the owner of Tricap Management–says she and her husband spend an estimate of $10,000 a year on tickets to parties for nonprofit groups and political candidates.
Thirty-two adults and 44 children are listed in the lawsuit.
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