Code Violations in Amarillo Apartments

Some Amarillo residents say they are faced with either living on the streets or dealing with an unsafe apartment.

Amarillo building inspectors are busy with dozens of apartment code violations. Inspectors receive a handful of complaints from people every day about local apartments. Building inspectors say the King Apartments are one of many local properties that are not up to code in our area.

One reason a lot of properties are not up to par is that some apartment owners are not willing to work with inspectors and spend the money to fix their property.

Howard Bilderback with the City of Amarillo says inspectors see a long list of violations in local apartments. "Numerous types of safety violations. Conditions of unsafe stairways, landings. Inadequate ventilation, inadequate fire protection," Bilderback said.

Issues, they say can easily be fixed with a little time and money.  "It really gets under my skin. I don't like those properties where you get an owner in it just for the money and has no concern for the tenants," he said.

One tenant who wanted to remain anonymous says he puts up with the quirks the apartment has. "Part of the cabinets and stuff under there (cabinets).  Bathroom floor, stuff like that.  It needs to be remodeled," he said.

Safety and security are just a few of the problems that tenants face, but some residents want to see the King building, among others, condemned.

Resident Ruben Rivera is one of those people. "It's terrible. The whole building needs to be gone. There's no way you can fix the building. It needs to be gone. Need to start from the ground up," he said.

For owners and inspectors, there's a fine line whether to fix or demolish. Bilderback says inspectors do try to work with property owners. "If it's a major structural problem and poses a real life safety hazard, there's no set time frame, we'll work with them on it" Bilderback said.

With quirks and all some have no choice but to make apartments, whether they are up to code or not, home.

"No where else to stay so, this is home for now," tenant said.  Tenants do have rights when it comes living in a safe or unsafe structure.

You can pick up a "Tenant's Rights Handbook" at the Amarillo City Hall at 509 E 7th Avenue or call (806) 378-3000.  The handbook can give you information, if you think you are unsure about your building.