WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — People who live in one Southeast apartment building are fed up with its apartment management for not responding to concerns.
On Tuesday night, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Navy Yard passed a resolution asking the District to revoke the business license of the property management company, Urban Investment Property (UIP).
All three commissioners voted in favor of the resolution after many neighbors spoke up, some quite emotional about their experiences at Onyx on First.
Neighbors said they’ve dealt with everything from a closed pool to homeless people sleeping in the stairwell.
People living in the luxury highrise say they’re not getting what they’re paying for.
“The fire pit’s not working, TV’s not working, rats running around next door to the community room,” said tenant Kenneth Ball.
In April the D.C. Department of Buildings (DOB) cited Onyx for several violations.
DOB ordered the building to exterminate rodents, repair defective ceiling drywall and wall baseboards and repair cracks in the wall among other issues.
Edward Daniels, chair of ANC 8F, said the garage door has been broken for months and management keeps saying that they will fix it but has not.
“Over the course of the past two weeks, two cars have been stolen from the garage,” he said. “We’ve got two residents complaining of not just flood, but flooded sewage coming out of apartments, residents sleeping in the hallways because they can’t get back into their units [and] nonresidents sleeping in the stairwells.”
Carolette Sweatt has been trying to form a tenants association but says her flyers were taken down.
“At least 4 to 5 times, each time I tried to have a meeting, I had major opposition,” Sweatt said.
It’s something we’ve seen at other UIP properties including 1841 Columbia Road in Adams Morgan where a woman was pepper sprayed by a manager after asking about her flyers being taken down.
“They’ve violated my right to organize, my D.C. rights, to organize this committee to even get here,” Sweatt said.
Daniels says UIP hasn’t properly addressed concerns over building conditions and safety.
“We’re sending to the Department of Consumer Protection and Licensing in D.C. to specifically ask that the business license for UIP properties be revoked or suspended until these issues are abated and that they connect the dots to other properties where the same things are happening,” Daniels said.
The resolution will also be sent to the D.C. Office of Zoning, Daniels said.
“To say if any UIP development comes before you do not give that a green light, please understand there are some red flag issues here on this property and other properties in D.C.,” Daniels said.
Steve Schwatt, principal of UIP said in a statement that they pride themselves on “professional, courteous, and reliable services” to all of their clients.
“Each incident has been handled in accordance with applicable regulation and law, and in concert with appropriate DC authorities,” he stated.