Swissvale Tenants Homeless After Landlord Neglects Fines
SWISSVALE (KDKA) – Residents of an 18-unit apartment building in Swissvale have only a few days to find a new home after their landlord repeatedly ignored thousands of dollars of fines for structural problems and negligence within the building.
According to Chief Clyde Wilhelm of the Swissvale Fire Department, the landlord, Michael Sturdivant, failed to fix the numerous problems that were required for the building to be legally occupied.
“This building has a list of violations 17 pages long,” Wilhelm said. “His fix to one woman’s receptacle not working in the kitchen was for him to move her refrigerator out into the common hallway.”
Collapsed ceilings, multiple fires, and dangerous electrical problems are only a handful of the issues plaguing the apartment building.
The borough has since ordered a 30-day emergency eviction for all tenants.
“I had no other alternative for the health, safety and welfare of the tenants in that building than to issue this order to vacate,” Wilhelm said.
Sturdivant told one tenant that there would be no return on her security deposit.
KDKA has also learned that Sturdivant was judged negligent by an Allegheny County court when a tenant of his in another building had to jump for her life as the building burned because the smoke alarms in that structure were deemed failures. The jury awarded that woman $250,000 in compensatory damages.