YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The conditions of a Youngstown apartment building got a magistrate’s attention Monday.
27 First News reported last week about the building on Midlothian Boulevard that didn’t have heat. The renters now have lawyers on their side who got something done about the situation.
A court hearing was held for a temporary restraining order trying to force some changes. Lawyers argued that the building conditions made it tough to live in.
“They don’t have a habitable condition because there is no adequate heat in the apartments and there’s no hot water,” said Attorney Andrew Neuhauser with Community Legal Aid.
Some of the renters have temporarily moved out, being put up by Help Network and Catholic Charities.
Ultimately, the magistrate ordered the building’s owner to restore heat and hot water service within 48 hours.
“We feel good about it. It’s a good first step to try to get the tenants back into the place that they live and in good conditions for them to live in the long term,” Neuhauser said.
One thing noticeably absent from the court hearing was anybody from the owner or landlord’s side.
They now have to be notified about the court decision.
Attorney Patti Dougan, with Community Legal Aid, said action was needed.
“Oftentimes, you do have to take some sort of drastic action to get the landlords to sit up and take notice and do what they should’ve done in the first place,” Dougan said.
The building is over 100 years old. It has an old boiler system, and change might not be easy, but the renters are fighting to return and be in a place they call home, with livable conditions.
“We’re moving the ball forward to get into a better situation, so just this little bit of change is going to make a lot of people less stressed,” said Angel Whitted, resident.
The next hearing in the case will be in two weeks, at which time a more permanent injunction could be considered against the owner if changes aren’t made.