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Residents forced out of Jefferson City apartment after landlord doesn’t fix living conditions

People in a Jefferson City apartment are being forced out of their home Wednesday, after their landlord did not fix unsafe and unsanitary living conditions.

After an initial inspection of 202 Marshall Street back on May 12, the city gave the landlord, Barbara Buescher, nearly two weeks to fix living conditions, according to Housing/Property Inspector Dave Helmick.

But when Helmick returned last week, none of the issues were resolved. Now, residents must move out of the apartment by June 1.

Oliver Lazarenko packed up all of his belongings Wednesday after living in the apartment for 17 years.

“Today, I just got he letter telling us that we have to vacate,” Lazarenko said.

He said living conditions started getting worse when his landlord removed the dumpster outside of the building.

“I think the main reason why it got like a bug infestation noted in this paper because she removed the dumpster,” Lazarenko said. “And we tried to call her.”

The inspection was prompted after nearby businesses reported people in the apartment were illegally dumping trash in the businesses’ containers, according to Helmick.

After getting a search warrant, Helmick said inspectors found countless violations including: piles of trash, a roach infestation, a hole in the roof, a gas leak in a stove, animal feces and urine, leaking sewer pipes, electrical issues, no working smoke detectors and more.

When the issues were not fixed nearly two weeks later, the city condemned the building and ordered it be vacated.

ABC 17 News called Buescher and left a message, but has not heard back from the landlord.

Lazarenko told ABC 17 News he has another place to stay for now, but others in the apartment are not so fortunate.

“If the city decides that we have to go, provide the assistance,” Lazrenko said. “I don’t care about myself, but I do care about other people with children. And I think it’s wrong.”

Helmick said he has since taken calls that the plumbing and electric issues have been fixed. He is meeting with the landlord Friday and said he may grant the residents an extension if the major issues are fixed.

The city won a lawsuit against the same landlord last year after she failed to maintain the safety of another property.

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