Warrensville Hts. tenants protest at city hall over apartment living conditions

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio — Northeast Ohio tenants are once again demanding their city take more action in improving living conditions at their apartment complex, this time in the City of Warrensville Heights.

Tenants living at the Granada Gardens apartments protested at Warrensville Heights city hall before the Nov. 21 council meeting, asking the city to move forward on dozens of code violations it found at the property.

The battle over quality of life issues with the New York apartment complex owner is one in a series of fights News 5 has covered and followed through on over the past year concerning tenants and their out-of-town landlords.

We don’t just report the initial story—we follow through to its conclusion. Read and watch our previous reporting on this story below and see more stories that we’ve followed through on here.

Cynthia Weatherspoon is a Granada Gardens tenant who reports she and other residents have had to cope with water leaks, mice, insects and more at the complex.

“It’s very stressful. This has been going on for a whole year,” Weatherspoon said. “My neighbor told me it’s a mouse, it’s in my living room and I’m like you have to get some traps because we don’t get any help here.”

Weatherspoon told News 5 that she and fellow tenants have also dealt with broken elevators and vagrants breaking into common areas of their apartment buildings

“Some seniors couldn’t go down the elevators, so they had to come down the steps in walkers. They had to carry a wheelchair because they couldn’t get down because of the elevator,” Weatherspoon said. “Squatters, they get into the building, they sleep in the laundry room, then you got leaks and stuff, then you can’t wash here because they broke into the laundry machine.”

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland represents dozens of tenants with the Granada Gardens Tenants Association. Legal Aid spokesperson Melanie Shakarian told News 5 that her organization hopes the City of Warrensville Heights will follow through on the code violations it issued to apartment owners.

“93 code violations this year, it is not a safe and habitable living situation, and these tenants are raising their voices and demanding that the city use the tools that they have,” Shakarian said. “These tenants have rights and their rights need to be enforced, and we are proud to stand by their side and represent them every step of the way.”

News 5 contacted Granada Gardens management about ongoing issues at the apartment complex, and it quickly issued the following statement:

We are planning to invest $4.9 million into Granada Gardens in coming months. That’s going to take some time – and we also know that’s frustrating for residents whose complaints previously went unaddressed for too long. But we must do this work the right way, hiring top quality, reputable contractors and making upgrades, repairs and fixes that will last for our residents.

We’re not waiting, though. Here are just some of the improvements that have been completed or are underway:

· $31,000 in concrete and step repairs.

· Hallway renovations, including new flooring, improved lighting and fresh paint in common areas.

· Ongoing roof replacement and repairs.

We’re also taking on plumbing repairs we know have been issues. And we’ve hired a topnotch consultant to get started on the extensive work required for our elevators.

Beyond the physical improvements, we’re working at having a much greater staff presence at Granada and responding much more quickly when residents raise issues.

News 5 also contacted the Warrensville Heights Building Commissioner for this story, and he responded immediately, explaining the city has already received a response from apartment ownership on 60 of the violations it issued.

The commissioner said the city will be resubmitting more than 30 additional violations against apartment ownership to Bedford Municipal Court in the coming weeks and anticipates these cases will be in front of a judge on Jan. 4, 2024.

News 5 will follow through on this developing story.

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