Astorwood Apartments, City of Stuart enter consent agreement to address maintenance issues

Posted at 11:50 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 23:50:30-05

For Jake Lunsford and his neighbors at Astorwood, it's been a rough few months.

“It's disgusting. I don't want to live in it anymore,” he says.

NewsChannel 5 first told you about their issues in October.

Mold, pest concerns and structural issues led to the city of Stuart declaring the apartments unsafe.

In turn, Lunsford and other neighbors refused to pay rent, and received notices on Tuesday - saying pay up, or get out.

Friday, the management company - Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions - softened that stance.

“We do not have any plans as of right now to conduct any evictions,” says Mark Hubbard, a spokesperson for the company.

He acknowledged by phone the process hasn't been smooth.

“Clearly we've not resolved issues to a point that's acceptable by everybody,” he says.

Friday came yet another notice posted one people's windows - one many hope signals progress.

“The property has entered into a consent decree addressing the ongoing maintenance issues at the property,” says Kelly Davis, a regional manager with Friedman.

This legally binding agreement between the city and the management company says all the issues at the complex will be resolved, laying out a 18-24 month timeframe.

“We appreciate the patience and cooperation of the residents,” Hubbard says.

For Lunsford it's too little, too late,

He has a one year lease, and has been and Astorwood for less than 6 months.

“I was told that these units were completely renovated and were as brand new,” he says.

Lunsford is making it clear - he's out.

“We have now given them a notice to vacate, so we will be out of here at the end of the month.”

There will be a code enforcement hearing on January 12 to discuss an action plan for repairs.

The management company did make it clear to me - renters there are expected to pay their rent.

The company says it will work with residents individually to address those rent concerns.