LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A Lansing apartment complex that is entirely pink tagged and has been operating without a valid renter’s license since 2017, is appealing its code violations.
Autumn Ridge Apartments has given its residents problems for several years, and in 2020 its owners filed a state lawsuit saying the violations found by code enforcement were improper, sparking a three-year legal battle.
While that was sorted out in the courtroom, lots of people were left in limbo.
“I mean, you should not be waking up looking around before you touch the ground to see bed bugs, roaches or rats,” said resident Rosalyn Williams.
Williams describes what it was like living at Autumn Ridge Apartments for the last seven years. Ultimately, the city red-tagged her home last month and she was forced to leave.
Her case is one of 26 red tags and 22 violations at Autumn Ridge.
Autumn disputed Lansing’s code violations, filing suit in 2020 saying the city overstepped its bounds. Then, six months later, Autumn Ridge took the case to federal court, claiming that the city was targeting the owner and its employees.
“The owner of the property, Shawn Stafford, sued the city as well as the code officer personally, Dave Kline, alleging that the practices of the code enforcement office were discriminatory based on race,” said Deputy Attorney for Lansing Amanda O’Boyle.
O’Boyle said the state lawsuit was put on hold as the federal one went to court. Then the city asked for both lawsuits to be dismissed in 2022.
“That was actually granted by the federal court. They dismissed all the claims that were raised. There was no finding of any racial discrimination or any wrongdoing by the city,” O’Boyle said.
But the saga continues. Autumn Ridge is now appealing its code violations through the city. All this time, the city said the complex continues to rent out apartments, even though it doesn’t have a rental certificate.
Meanwhile, Williams is stuck in a hotel while Autumn Ridge replaces her furnace. She said that nobody from Autumn Ridge has reached out to help, and she’s been paying for everything out of her own pocket.
Between meals, having to go purchase clothes, toiletries, I’m at about $5,000,” Williams said.
6 News reached out to the owners of Autumn Ridge Apartments, and they gave the following response:
“We strongly disagree with any narrative that Autumn Ridge is operating without a valid renter’s certificate since 2017, because the rental certification dispute was litigated and resolved last year.”
They also claim Autumn Ridge is “in compliance with the city’s rental certification process and fully expects renewal rental certificates to be issued once all legitimate items identified in the recent relevant inspections are complete.”