Tenants Forced to Move Out of Apartment Building

By Jill Kasparie

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The city took action on one of its problem properties Thursday morning.

It’s an action that left the people living inside with no other option but to move out.

According to city officials, the apartment building located at 110 16th Street northeast has more criminal complaints than any other property in the city.

The city said it gave the landlord a 30-day notice that it would take action if something wasn’t done to fix issues associated with the property. Thursday morning everyone living there was told to leave and the place was boarded up.

“Today the property has been placarded due to unsanitary conditions in the property, health hazards,” said Cedar Rapids Nuisance Property Abatement Coordinator Amanda Grieder.

The city listed issues such as bed bug infestations and fire code violations as the reasons for the notice.

Residents said they were only told Thursday morning that they needed to move out.

The city said it provided those living in the building with information on other housing options and homeless shelters.

The building had about fifteen apartments.

Tenants were frustrated, rushing around to get their belongings out.

“They should have gave us some notice, like where is people supposed to go? She’s pregnant. Where is she supposed to go? You know what I mean?” said tenant Nikole Becker.

“Put my stuff in storage, I don’t know. The shelters are full, so I guess try to stay with a friend,” said tenant Jenifer Blake.

This happens just as the building switched ownership. As of 9:00 Wednesday morning, a new owner took over the property. He wouldn’t comment on the situation.

The former landlord, Keith Nemecek, said he was trying to fix the infestation problems prior to the sale. When asked if he notified the tenants about the notice from the city, he said through all the police activity on the property, they had to have known this was coming.

Nemecek said any rent money questions should be taken up with the new owner.

The city has been working to fix issues related to the property through the SAFE-CR program. Many units inside were labeled as nuisance properties.

Grieder said crews need to make repairs before the building can be used again.

No word yet on what the new owner has planned for the building.

l Comments: 319-398-8268; jill.kasparie@kcrg.com

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