Landlord Speaks Out About Condemned Apartment Building

Landlord Speaks Out About Condemned Apartment Building

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Apryl Paul is the landlord of 140 High Street, an apartment building which was condemned the day before Thanksgiving, upsetting tenants, some of whom were placed at a Royal Inn by the Watertown Urban Mission.

"We have had tenant after tenant calling us seeing how soon they can get back into their apartment," said Paul, broker/owner of Fresh Start Real Estate and Property Management, LLC.

It looks like that won't be for about three weeks. According to Paul, her office manager received a no heat call from a tenant last Wednesday morning, then a plumbing and heating company discovered that the boiler room had overheated drastically.

"The boiler room they said was about 300 degrees, three of the four boilers were cherry red. The PVC drain pipes had all melted. It was obviously an unsafe condition," said Paul.

Code enforcement was called, the electricity shut off, and the tenants were told to leave. 

Meanwhile two former tenants who are staying at the Royal Inn just outside of Watertown, thanks to the Watertown Urban Mission, say they will not be returning to 140 High Street.

"You won't see this girl, I'm done. I do have a place in town that I am going to be moving to soon and if someone like this can do such heartless things to people the day before Thanksgiving, why would I want to stay there and give my money to people like that," said Nicole Serback, former tenant.

Serback said that she lived there for 18 years with her husband, William, who said he used to help with the boilers and said he didn't notice a problem.

"Then I heard that the boilers were going to blow up so I went down there and I looked and I couldn't see anything wrong with the boilers," said William Serback.

He added that they didn't have heat for three weeks before the building was condemned, which Paul denies. 

"It just happened to be very bad timing that it was the day before Thanksgiving, but luckily nobody was hurt," said Paul.

In an unrelated incident, another building nearby was also condemned the day before Thanksgiving. It was at 651 Olive Street down the road. It was found to be unfit due to filth, unsanitary conditions and lack of heat. 

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