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Rivershell Apartments ordered to inform tenants about board ups of balconies, sliding doors

Posted at 7:13 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 19:13:34-05

LANSING, Mich. — Earlier this month, a judge ordered the management of Rivershell Apartments to board up unsafe balconies and sliding glass doors at the southwest Lansing complex and to notify residents about the change.

Rivershell officials said they sent out a notice, but the court said they didn’t comply with the order.

On Thursday, 54 A District Court Judge Cynthia Ward had a heated disagreement with attorney John Mione who was representing Rivershell about a letter that was sent out to Rivershell residents informing them about the board up of unsafe balconies and sliding glass doors.

The letter states that the balconies and patios should not be used until further notice, but Ward took issue with the letter because it did not inform residents right at the start that the balconies and patios are unsafe.

“I believe you had an issue with the placement of the safety statement in the letter, but it’s not Rivershell’s responsibility to make sure recipients read the full notice or not,” Mione said.

“But it is up to you to comply and advise residents the right way that the balconies and patios are unsafe,” Ward said.

An attorney for the city also expressed concerns about the letter being misleading and promising to make repairs.

“I also find the statement alluding to tenants that they will be making repairs, and maybe that is their intent, but as far as I can see, I don’t believe any actual repair work is being done at this time,” said Amanda O’Boyle, a Lansing assistant city attorney.

Ward ordered Rivershell to send out a second notice to residents, with proper language that gets to the point and specifically states the balconies and patios are unsafe and should not be used.

“If it is this court’s position that the letter does not comply, Rivershell will not be not cooperative with this court,” Mione said. “So if you think something extra needs to be done, I don’t believe they will be not be willing to do that your honor.”

Rivershell and Mione did not respond to requests for comment.

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