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Former tenants of a 400-unit apartment complex facing severe living conditions, including failing heating systems, burst water pipes, bug infestations, and asbestos, will receive compensation through a $1.5 million settlement fund. City Attorney Zach Klein revealed that the lender supporting Latitude Five25 apartments reached a $1.5 million settlement with the city, in exchange for foregoing the court-ordered $2.5 million payment by the owners. This settlement is aimed at reimbursing former residents who were forced out of the complex in December 2022.

The Latitude Five25 apartments, located on Sawyer Boulevard, had been under city scrutiny since early 2022, facing environmental court proceedings due to bug infestations, contaminated stairwells, and overall unsanitary conditions. Paxe Latitude, the owners, agreed to sell the property in October 2022 after letting conditions deteriorate. Christmas of that year saw hundreds of residents ordered to vacate due to burst water pipes and a lack of heat. The city promptly filed a motion to hold Paxe Latitude in contempt of court for violating its agreement.

In February, a judge ordered Paxe Latitude to pay nearly $4.4 million in fines and fees, with $2.5 million allocated for compensating former tenants. The court also found that the owners hired contractors who mishandled asbestos during building rehabilitation, contaminating residents’ belongings. Paxe Latitude filed for bankruptcy in New Jersey, and although the claim was dismissed, the $2.5 million contempt fee was never paid.

Lument, the lender, will cover the $1.5 million settlement from the insurance claim on the property. Legal Aid of Southeast and Central Ohio, representing nearly 130 former tenants, will manage the fund, ensuring each receives at least $1,000. While this compensation doesn’t undo the harm done, it represents a crucial step towards justice for tenants who lost their homes and possessions. In a recent development, New Perspective Asset Management has been appointed as the receiver for Latitude Five25, with plans to rehabilitate the complex into livable apartments.

Compensation Secured for Former Latitude Five25 Tenants  was originally published on mycolumbusmagic.com