Richmond property manager confronted after ceiling falls on tenant

RICHMOND, Va — Cheryl Brown’s entire kitchen ceiling collapsed on her Tuesday, while the property manager for the Flats at Ginter Park, where she lives, was in court being charged with a dozen counts of failure to make necessary repairs to buildings, and 10 counts of unsafe structures

Brown told CBS 6 she was met by a condemned sign on her door when she came home from the hospital. Brown is one of several of families at the Flats now scrambling to find a place to stay.

Thursday, CBS 6 Problem Solvers spotted the property manager talking with police on a public sidewalk near the complex.

When a CBS 6 reporter and photojournalist crew asked him if he would talk, and what his plans were for the residents he put out abruptly, he said, “No, I do not have any comment.”

CBS 6 then met with John Walsh, operations manager for City of Richmond code enforcement, who explained the Flats at Ginter Park are in worse condition than they were a year ago.

The expanse of apartments

“Quite frankly, we’ve really gotten to the point where we really need to start looking at this thing and protecting some of the citizens of this city from some of the really bad living conditions that are going on there,” said Walsh.

Walsh said that is why the city has gotten the courts involved and is condemning buildings that are unsafe.

Code enforcement inspectors showed CBS 6 that so far 11 buildings and at least 42 units have been condemned at the Flats at Ginter Park

“We are trying to address this from a responsible standpoint and see how we deal with this as quickly as possible without creating negative situations by overwhelming the system,” explained Walsh.

Meanwhile, Thursday evening, residents continued to pack their apartments into U-Hauls, and others struggle to find last minute living arrangements, saying they were only given 24 hours to get their belongings out and were not told in advance that their homes were being condemned.

However, city officials told CBS 6 that the city notified the property manager 7 to 10 days before condemning buildings.

“We make sure in these cases that we are letting the property managers and owners know, so as far as their communication with their tenants, I can’t speak to that,” said Walsh.

As of Thursday evening, some residents told CBS 6 they were in the process of getting hotel vouchers from the city, but were still stressing about what to do with their furniture, and pets, and where they would live long-term.

The property manager is due back in court on April 10 for the trial.

These are the buildings that were focused on in court:

Failure to make necessary changes:

  • 900 Westbrook Ave
  • 902 Westbrook Ave
  • 4800 Old Brook Road
  • 4801 Old Brook Road
  • 4802 Old Brook Road
  • 4803 Old Brook Road
  • 4804 Old Brook Road
  • 4805 Old Brook Road
  • 4806 Old Brook Road
  • 4807 Old Brook Road
  • 4808 Old Brook Road
  • 4809 Old Brook Road

    Unsafe structures:

  • 4810 Old Brook Road
  • 4811 Old Brook Road
  • 4812 Old Brook Road
  • 4813 Old Brook Road
  • 4814 Old Brook Road
  • 4815 Old Brook Road
  • 4816 Old Brook Road
  • 4819 Old Brook Road
  • 4817 Old Brook Road
  • 4818 Old Brook Road