New deadline for infested Edmond apartment complex facing condemnation

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EDMOND, Okla. - A property owner has until mid-January to clean up an apartment complex after city officials deemed it 'dilapidated, uninhabitable, unsafe unsanitary and a public nuisance,' meaning it could be condemned.

Records show that since 2014, Edmond city officials received a number of complaints about Highland Ridge Apartments. Following multiple inspections by the police, fire, and code enforcement departments, the future of the property made it on the city council agenda.

Todd McKinnis, attorney for the property owner, Rajesh Narula, is determined to get the building back up to code. The city is giving the property owner a thirty-day extension to fix the issues.

City inspections from multiple departments resulted in a floor-by-floor to-do list.

"Doors that don't work, windows that don't close," explained city spokesperson Casey Moore. "Just a lot of things that don't work properly and don't meet city code."

Documents show inspectors noted the entire building showed infestation of pests and insects.

"We would just be sitting here and next thing you know, we look up and there's a roach on the wall," said resident Jordan Cuspar.

He says he and his girlfriend only lived there for about a month and constantly battle the pests. But he says overall, he enjoys living there, though he wishes there were improvements made. He says he's had issues with a smoke alarm in his apartment.

"We went to push a button up there and the whole thing kind of fell apart," he said.

The inspections reflect faulty alarms, doors, and windows. Not to mention, 400 police incidents over a two-year period and city records show the owner owes the city $23,720  in citations.

But the city agrees with McKinnis that fixing the property is a best-case scenario.

"Condemning a property is the last thing we want to do," said Moore. "Especially this time of the year we don't want to put people out on the street to find a new place to live. We're trying everything that we can to work with the property owner."

McKinnis released the following statement to News 4:

"We're cooperating with the City of Edmond to work through the detailed list of items that require attention to bring the building into compliance. We anticipate having that complete by the next time we go before the council at the next meeting on January 14."

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