City of Greensboro inspects Summit Avenue apartments after complaints, petition

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- From one end to the other of the Summit Avenue apartments, the City of Greensboro’s Code Compliance Department spent Tuesday afternoon knocking on doors.

“Our biggest challenge is just the language barrier with the residents because I think we have six or seven languages spoken or represented in this apartment complex,” said Beth Benton, Code Compliance Division manager.

The team of inspectors, with the help of interpreters, canvassed the 42-unit apartment complex on the corner of Summit Avenue.

Benton says this all started after people living there complained about their living conditions.

Last week, a petition surfaced.

“Everything is complaint driven. It can be a neighbor reporting something they've seen or a tenant can report something they're having trouble with if the landlord is not being response,” Benton said.

She says the five people that signed it were enough for city inspectors to come out and look at each unit.

“I spoke with the property manager on Friday. I let them know that we were planning this. I needed to find out which units were vacant. Just confirm the languages that are spoken out here and also, we were able to coordinate and get keys for the few vacant units so we could inspect everything,” Benton said.

This all comes more than week after five children were killed in an early morning fire inside an apartment, in which fire investigators later said started because of unattended cooking.

The city will spend the next several days making sure people that live here are safe.

“We will enter cases into our system and at that point we will have an idea of what we've encountered this week,” Benton said.

Inspections with start again Wednesday at 8 a.m. By the end of the week they should have a list of what needs to be fixed.

Then they will send an order to repair to management, who has 30 days to get them done.