The owner of Legacy Apartments on Avenue H in Levelland has agreed to voluntarily shut down the complex and to work with the city in getting the apartments back up to code.
City Manager Erik Rejino, said that the owner of the complex out of San Francisco, CA has voluntarily agreed to evict all tenants by Friday and to board up the facility while they work with the city to bring the facility back up to code and make it habitable again.
The eviction notice has been issued and all tenants have until Friday, December 14th to be moved out. The process to bring the building up to code started earlier this year when a complaint was filed with the city regarding blocked fire exits and other fire hazards. Levelland Fire Marshall, Jay McKay and Chief Building Official, John Agnew inspected the building and found several violations with the building including structural issues, electrical issues and fire code violations. McKay said that the officials were only allowed to inspect the common areas of the apartment and were not allowed to inspect any occupied or unoccupied apartments.
In September the city received another complaint. McKay made another inspection at the building and determined that the previous violations had not been fixed and still have not been corrected. A fire broke out in the building in mid October, The Levelland Police Department and Levelland Fire Department responded and evacuated the residents. It was noted at that time that evacuations were hindered by the fact that fire exits were blocked in the hallway as well as windows that had been boarded up and residents could not get out through those. It was noted that if the fire had not been detected early, their could have been serious injuries or even fatalities.
Several local organizations including the South Plains Community Action, Salvation Army, and Hockley County Public Assistance office is providing assistance to residents this week as they have to find another residence.
The apartment complex will be boarded up by the owner until it can be brought back up to code.