A Pittsburgh city magistrate recently granted a landlord an additional 30 days to help his tenants find replacement housing after their building was found to have numerous health code violations. These violations necessitate the removal of 10 families, including several Bhutanese refugees, to new housing due to the serious risk to their house. As a result, many are confused by the magistrate’s ruling, given how the landlord so seriously neglected the building in the past.Davin Gartley, the landlord in question, has been cited multiple times by the Allegheny County Health Department and the Pittsburgh city codes enforcement office. The violations discovered at his apartment building include a faulty foundation, bad electrical wiring and rodent infestation, as well as problems with sewage, water, and trash collection. Additionally, the Health Department has reported that two lead paint violations endangered a 1-year-old resident, who tested positive for elevated levels of lead toxicity.
“Ignoring maintenance problems does not make them go away,” says Joseph Ord, President of AMOSO Properties. “It is better to spend a little money now rather than a lot of money later.”
Gartley was reportedly first notified of the health code violations in October of 2013. Yet, in spite of this, Health Department employees report that they saw no improvements in the poor quality of the building, and were surprised that the magistrate had granted the landlord additional time. When the tenants finally do leave their apartments, the Health Department plans to condemn it.