Tenants say management ignored their concerns

Tenants at Garden Park Estates in SE Portland said management repeatedly ignored their safety concerns, April 14, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Tenants at Garden Park Estates in SE Portland said management repeatedly ignored their safety concerns, April 14, 2014. (KOIN 6)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Many low income and disabled people living in a SE Portland apartment complex said on Monday that the management company has forced them to live in unsafe conditions.

Residents at Garden Park Estates, 3208 SE 136th Avenue, said the management company at the complex has bullied them when they have spoken up about unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

A city inspector said the complex currently meets code but only after months of complaints from residents.

“The straw that broke the camel’s back is one day I came home and the tip of my shoe caught one of the ripples in the carpet and I fell and when I fell, I fracture my collar bone,” said Janie Tate, a resident at Garden Park Estates.

Since 2003, Tate, a 63-year-old disabled woman, said she has been complaining about the dirty and rippled carpet in her apartment.

“This gal over here, when she turns on her hall light downstairs, you get a shock, it actually shocks you,” said Tate.

Tate was one of many tenants at the complex who meet low to medium income housing requirements, but Tate said management continually puts off their concerns.

A city inspection report from last fall showed evidence of trash building up, unsafe carpet and peeling surfaces. Some residents said they even encountered mold and rats at the complex.

“It was that point that I tried to talk to them about it and again I was put off, and so it was at that I said, ‘I’m done’ and I hired an attorney,” said Tate.

Tate said the employees for the management company, PacifiCap, have become vindictive.

“They know that they can take advantage of those tenants and almost all of those tenants will never do anything to assert their rights or get any kind of protection for themselves,” said Troy Pickard, an attorney.

The manager at Garden Park Estates refused to comment on residents’ concerns.

An area manager said via phone that the company has passed its required inspections for the year.

Tate said while the complex may have met some inspections, it was only after threat of legal action.

“I’ve been here for 18 years, and I’ve been in this unit for 10. They haven’t done anything to try to keep me,” said Tate.

Local attorneys said an advocacy group called The Community Alliance of Tenants is available as a resource to tenants in a similar situation to Tate’s.

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