PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Portland man is taking a property management group to court over what he says are unsafe living conditions at his apartment complex in Northwest Portland.
The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County on Tuesday, June 18, details dangerous and unsanitary living conditions and calls the company running the complex a slumlord.
According to the county website, the suit was not yet served to the Income Property Management Corporation at the time of this story.
Brian Jackson has lived at The Yards Apartments for three years. Last year, he and other tenants organized a union after he said thousands of complaints about different health and safety issues have gone unaddressed.
“Their mission statement brags about how they’re offering affordable and safe housing for their tenants,” Jackson said. “It’s anything but safe. Affordable? Sure. Safe? Anything but.”
In the lawsuit, Jackson claimed the apartments are uninhabitable and details things like drug dealing, cockroaches, assaults, homeless people openly urinating in the hallways, flooding and leaking, hypodermic needles, squatters and broken lights.
“Every time I went out, it was a lot of anxiety because you never knew who was going to come out from dark corners. Lights were out, bulbs weren’t being replaced — it’s insane,” Jackson said.
On June 10, Jackson was served an eviction notice, which he said is unlawful retaliation for starting a union and complaining about some of these problems.
“They don’t want to do the job,” Jackson said. “If we can get that changed to where people don’t have to fear going outside their door, so they don’t have to walk across their kitchen floor in an immaculately cleaned apartment and be walking over cockroaches, have to deal with black mold in the common areas, or rats on the outside of the building because things aren’t cleaned properly — we shouldn’t have to live that way.”
Jackson said in recent weeks, the company installed a new fence around the property, which he says has helped improve security but more needs to be done. Now he feels he has no choice but to fight back in court.
Leah Sykes, an attorney for Income Property Management, said the company could not comment because her clients have not seen the lawsuit yet. She did say she felt, “it will become clear that the suit is without merit.”
A spokesperson for Home Forward said it is unable to comment in pending litigation.