Temporary elevator fix, amid more troubles at Stuart Court Apartments

Taking Action

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — 8News has learned Richmond’s code enforcement department sent a notice of unsafe and defective maintenance to management at the Stuart Court Apartments in Richmond.

This comes after 8News was flooded with calls, emails and social media posts from tenants about the complex’s maintenance issues.

Last week, a tenant told 8News their ceiling collapsed and the elevator on the property had been out for nearly two months.

She lives on the 9th floor.

Since 8News’ initial report, we learned Stuart Court Apartments, located in the 1600 block of Monument Avenue, has applied for a special use permit to operate its freight elevator for tenants while repairs on the main elevator are underway.

Still the issues at the complex are mounting.

“Every day, every morning there was plaster and water just dripping, tons of it. The bathroom above me that was leaking into my apartment and it got so bad it pooled on the floor and collected,” says another tenant 8News spoke to this week.

She asked not to be identified, but worries about her and her child’s safety living in the complex on Monument Avenue.

“I feel very worried for his health and my health. There is black mold in there,” she said pointing to an opening between her hallway and bathroom.

Like the tenant 8News spoke to last week, this tenant had water leaking through her ceiling too, but in her case, the water was seeping into the light switch and hallway.

“If I would leave the bathroom with a damp or wet hand it would give me an electrical shock,” she said.

Landmark, which manages the property, told 8News a pipe burst has caused some of the issues, which they say is not something they can predict.

However, the management team says they reacted immediately.

Crews did make repairs this week but the tenant calls it a patch job.

“As you can see the wall is soft to the touch,” she says.

And that’s not the only issue in her apartment: “The floor has been sinking ever since I moved in.”

Others have reached out to 8News with issues as well.

A former tenant wrote, “They didn’t have the elevator available” and told us they’re disabled. Current tenants say the elevator has been out for nearly two months.

Just recently, the city condemned the elevator, causing an inconvenience to tenants.

“I have to climb these steps with my kid who is a small child,” says the tenant.

The mother of a tenant sent 8News a video of what appears to be rodent droppings. “It was just nasty,” says Jowanna Medina who was contracted to clean the apartments last year. She tells us while working she saw a pest infestation. “I saw roaches,” she explains.

Medina also alleges Landmark still owes her money for her cleaning work. Landmark told 8News they were not happy with her work, however.

Meanwhile, others have messaged 8News about very similar issues with another Landmark property, the Chesterfield Apartments.

A past tenant notes “a massive pest problem, a leaking hole in the ceiling and the elevator was out of order.”

Medina tells us, “They just seem like they are very cheap, they just want to do things the cheap way.”

8News shared all of this with the City’s code enforcement department. They told us they couldn’t address concerns and enter a unit unless the tenant reaches out to them. To date, they are investigating two filed complaints.

Landmark again declined an on-camera interview with 8News but told us the buildings are 100-year-old. They add that they do care, but when things happen quickly it is hard to stay on top of it. They added that special parts had to be ordered for the elevators and they have contracts to address the pest problem.

Still, that’s little relief to the tenant who showed us a sinking floor and wet wall.

“I just want to leave as soon as I can,” she says.

Tenants seeking help should contact the City of Richmond’s code enforcement department. The preferred method of reporting is RVA311 https://www.rva311.com/rvaone/Home/Index The direct number to code enforcement is (804) 646-6398. 

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