Court orders apartment complex to vacate

Apartment damage (Provided Photo)
Apartment damage (Provided Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Shaming Sanders spent Thursday afternoon packing her apartment unit and trying to find out where she, her sister, and her two young nieces would call their new home. The deadline was fast approaching to vacate their east side apartment complex that was ordered to shut down by a court.

“We don’t know where we’re going to move,” she said.

The Marion County Health Department found health code violations, including no running water , at Oak Tree Apartments at 42nd and Post Road January 13. Health Department spokesperson Lara Morgan said the problem was due to water line breaks.

But when inspects returned, Morgan said the complex still wasn’t in compliance.

“There are some other issues that are also of an emergency nature,” Morgan said. “There’ve been some no-heat complaints, of course no hot water as well.”

On January 30, a judge ordered the complex to vacate by 5 p.m. on February 6. But tenants said they didn’t learn until they saw a notice on their door Monday, just three days before the deadline to move out.

“Just a notice that said 72 hours to leave,” said John Carruthers, who’s lived at the complex for 15 years.

“They say, both the judge and the health department, that this is for the good of the people and their safety at Oak Tree,” said Carruthers’ sister who was there helping him pack. “But in the short term, three days’ notice for people with limited resources and some people are disabled – to find a whole new place to live, get moved, find storage, whatever they have to do, is just really terrible.”

“It affects the health and safety of the residents that live there,” said Morgan, who added that a judge determined the actual vacate date and it would’ve been up to the apartment complex management or ownership to notify tenants.

No one in the leasing office would comment late Thursday afternoon.

The Lawrence and Warren Township Trustees Offices were helping tenants with emergency housing and long-term solutions.

And despite the 5 p.m. deadline, the doors apparently wouldn’t be sealed and secured immediately.   Carruthers said he’d been allowed to finish packing up over the next few days.

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