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City of Lansing sues Simtob Management for housing code violations

WKAR File Photo

The city of Lansing is taking a property management company to court over its housing code violations.

Officials are suing Simtob Management after all 29 rental units in a South Lansing apartment building received red tags for code violations. That meant the families living there were forced to vacate their homes over unsafe living conditions.

Some residents are now living in other properties owned by the company. Others were relocated to hotels on the city's expense.

The suit would require Simtob to finish repairs and bring the building back into compliance within 45 days.

Lansing's Deputy City Attorney Amanda O’Boyle said building inspections revealed there was unpermitted roof work done on the West Holmes apartment with some parts of the roof exposing the interior. The inspection also found water buildup in the apartment's walls and ceilings.

O'Boyle said the lawsuit would compel Simtob to perform the necessary maintenance and bring the apartments up to code for its former tenants.

"The hope is (to) bring the property back into compliance so that they can return to the home that they had,” O'Boyle said.

The attorney noted the property could be demolished if it can't be salvaged and brought up to compliance.

O’Boyle said the litigation has brought the company to the negotiating table to try find a resolution with the city. She expects the litigation to move forward in the next two weeks if Simtob doesn't .

"There's going to be a path forward, whether it's one that involves a lot of court oversight, or or, hopefully, Simtob voluntarily undertakes," O'Boyle said.

City Council members are discussing the code violations with Mayor Andy Schor's administration at a special meeting next Wednesday April 4.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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