Lake Arbor appeals hundreds of code enforcement violations

A majority of families at Lake Arbor Apartments in west Charlotte are living with code enforcement violations, and those in charge of the disaster have appealed all of these cases to a city board.

The City of Charlotte told FOX 46 Charlotte that there are 205 units with open cases of code enforcement violations at Lake Arbor Apartments. One hundred and eighteen additional cases have been resolved.

Lake Arbor has appealed all of these violation cases and will go before the city's Housing Appeals Board this February. This means, Lake Arbor ownership has not, yet, had to pay any fines for their repeated violations.

The Housing Appeals Board is made up of volunteer citizens who are appointed by the mayor and city council. The board is part of a state statute that allows for the appeals of code violations.

A series of FOX 46 investigations led to every apartment in the complex to be inspected, and all were found with violations. 

Lake Arbor will have the option to appeal whichever ruling comes down from the Housing Appeals Board, too.

The complex had provided city staff with a "corrective action plan" in October. Management told staff, and staff relayed to city council, that all violations in tenant-occupied units would be corrected by the end of 2018.

Now, in 2019, a majority of the apartments still have violations that people are living with.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office has also been investigating Lake Arbor.

"If they work in good faith to try to fix [the violations] then perhaps that's all it takes but if we feel there was some bad faith in creating the problems on the front end or they will not address the problems we will go to court," NC Attorney General Josh Stein said.

"If we were to go to court and win we could get relief for all the people who were harmed and civil penalties of $5,000 per violation. The potential remedies are severe. Obviously it's premature at this point because we haven't filed a lawsuit and we hope we don't have to."

The Attorney General praised the work of Charlotte code enforcement.

"One thing I do want to compliment the Charlotte housing inspector folks," Stein said. "They are really, actively on this case and they're working to try to get the problems with the apartment fixed."

Lake Arbor and Broad Management (which has represented Lake Arbor) have both, repeatedly, declined to comment with FOX 46 Charlotte.