COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Columbia apartment complex where two children died last year no longer has the proper city licensing for rental properties.
The city’s Office of Neighborhood Services referred the owners of Columbia Square Townhomes, LIH Columbia Square LLC, to the municipal prosecutor earlier this year for not having a certificate of compliance. Leigh Kottwitz with Neighborhood Services said the owners failed to get one when they purchased the property in January 2022. Kottwitz said the owners have asked for the application.
Neither the company nor the complex’s property manager, Yarco, have responded to requests for comment.
Rental properties must have a certificate of compliance as part of operation in Columbia. Getting one triggers a city inspection for several safety measures, including the presence of working smoke detectors. ABC 17 News discovered earlier this year that the city’s last inspection for a certificate of compliance revealed several units lacking smoke detectors. The complex owners requested the city only check 30% of the units there.
Two children were killed at one of the apartments during a fire in December 2022. Officials reported the unit did not have a working smoke detector.
“For the city of Columbia, that is a safeguard for all tenants,” Kottwitz said. “Instead of a tenant that’s having difficulty, they don’t have to pick up a phone and call the city. This is a way the city along with the work of our property owners can be proactive to make sure that we’re providing housing that’s safe for our residents.”
Tenant complaints this year could mean a more strict inspection for Columbia Square Townhomes when they do apply. Check back for more on those complaints, including reports of cockroaches, mold and missing smoke detectors, in an investigative report Thursday on ABC 17 News at 10.