Apex Chicago hit with lawsuit over building conditions

Residents report rodents, brown water and mold

South Side, lawsuits, Apex Chicago, multifamily market
4624 South Ellis Avenue (Loopnet, Getty)

Tenants of a South Side building have filed a class-action lawsuit against their landlord for unsafe living conditions, the second such suit in the city this summer.

Three people who live in the Ellis Lakeview Apartments, at 4624 South Ellis Avenue, said owner Apex Chicago and property manager Integra Affordable Management, failed to maintain the building, which led to mold, rodent infestations and roof leaks, outlets including the Chicago Sun-Times reported. While the 105-unit building is federally subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing, the agency isn’t listed in the suit.

The lawsuit comes a month after one of Chicago’s largest landlords, Pangea Properties, was served with a 153-page class-action complaint from more than a dozen tenants for unsafe living conditions and routinely ignoring calls for repairs from tenants.

Residents of the 11-story Ellis Lakeview building have reported plumbing issues, pests, elevator problems and security breaches for the better part of two years. In addition, the building’s tenants said the owner hasn’t paid the interest on their security deposits.

“It’s embarrassing because [sewage] comes up from my tub, and that’s still an ongoing issue,” one resident, Tonnett Hammond, told the publication. “And when the water comes up, it takes three days, maybe a week, sometimes more for it to go down.”

Photos of the building taken by residents show brown water running from the tap, units with missing shower walls, stained and leaking ceilings as well as piles of trash left in the hallways.

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“You just can’t get these buildings and say, forget about these people because of the title ‘low income,’” Hammond told the outlet. “I feel like this class-action lawsuit will be an example for many more to come.”

The city filed a housing complaint against Apex in March 2021 for multiple building code violations and earlier this year filed an emergency petition to have a receiver take over the property until repairs were completed. After a three-day hearing, the city withdrew the petition and Apex agreed to hire a new property manager.

The lawsuit doesn’t include that company 5T Management, which Apex hired in June. Residents say the new team has been communicating closely with them and they want to give it a chance to make repairs.

The first hearing in the case against Apex is scheduled for Dec. 23.

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