Property owner speaks out after tenants complaint - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Property owner speaks out after tenants complaint about conditions

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

More on an investigation we've been covering all week. Dubuque property owner Kenneth Moore speaks out about what tenants say are unkempt buildings. To give you a recap, last Thursday tenant DeLisa Fisher contact us after her electricity was turned off for no reason. We looked into it and discovered that her building 1199 Central Avenue is up for auction. Tuesday Fisher received what she thought was an eviction notice. But it was actually only a 30 day notices that the lease had expired.

"We've had multiple problems. Multiple confrontations. Never get paid rent on time. Have to make multiple trips," Moore said when asked about his property at 1199 Central Avenue in Dubuque.

"You get people in there and then three four months later you've got three, four people living there," property manager Vince Kilberg said.

Kilberg says the tenants we talked to on Tuesday have unauthorized people living in their apartments. And that many of the buildings problems are caused by them. He says he keeps his properties up to city standards.

"The building is city inspected. It's got a city license. It's deemed habitable. It's right next to city hall," Kilberg said.

But the building meets minimum requirements. Looking through inspection records since October 2010 the building has been cited for dozens of code violations. Including roach infestation, broken doors, unclean units, exterior issues, broken windows, mechanical repairs and furnace problems. Property managers say some of those citations should fall on the tenant.

"Bulbs are out, come and change it. I don't thinks so. Once you move in you gotta do that. They're making the landlords responsible for all their duties and I don't think that's right," maintenance worker Jeff Hefel said.

But what about the building being up for auction? Moore says it's tied to a condominium project in Bellevue and that this building is being held as collateral.

"It's just time to close the building down," Moore said.

Now he's given tenants 30 day notices, not evictions, in order to clear the building in time for an auction, though that isn't required.

"We do care about the tenants and no matter what anybody things about the building that's why we gave them a non renewal of the lease," Moore said.

Many tenants we spoke to say they can't afford to move.

Moore talked specifically about the property at 1199 Central. He says his maintenance workers have been threatened several times. Police have received calls for service at that property 19 times in the last two years. They say that is above average. The property is up for auction on June 7th.

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