Fresno apartment's ceiling fixed after ABC30 investigation into terrible conditions

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The new ceiling in a Fresno apartment is the result of an Action News investigation into an apartment complex slow to action.

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From Friday to Monday, the difference is night and day - or rather, no ceiling and ceiling.

"That's actually really nice because I have a roof above my head," said Jessilyn Hodges, whose ceiling caved in just before Thanksgiving. "Still a little nervous to walk into this room."

After our investigation revealed a long delay on repairs Friday, the landlord came out and sent contractors to fix the bedroom and kitchen.

"They promised to show up the next day on Saturday and they did," said Hodges. "They followed through with their promise."

A city of Fresno code enforcement crew also paid a visit to Hodges and her roommate, Kellie Martin, Monday.

They launched some new plans this year to address slumlords in the city, including the anti-slum enforcement team.

"It's actually been extremely successful for the properties that continuously have problems," said Fresno city council member Miguel Arias, who pushed for the anti-slumlord action.

RELATED: Fresno cracks down on landlords who refuse to fix problems

The team's latest report highlights some formerly blighted properties now all dressed up and several more that still need work, like a JD Homes apartment complex on Bulldog Lane.

One of their renters told us the apartments are mostly dumps, and when he needs repairs, they're slow to come, but the rent is low.

"So if you couldn't find one of these places that's pretty cheap?" an Action News reporter asked him.

"Yeah, I would be actually out on the streets, homeless," said Joseph Knobel.

Contractors closed off two of the units in a downtown Fresno quadruplex with the same owners.

It's next on the enforcement team's list for inspections and possible fines.

One of the people still living there says the owners sent contractors to do some work in July and they left him some paint, but they haven't been back and the place is falling apart.

But he also appreciate the low rent.

"(Landlords) will argue they're just providing what the market demands which is low rents for a substandard property, but the law is very clear," said Arias.

Code enforcement will be back to monitor the work - and a rat problem - at Hodges and Martin's place, but for now it's not on the slum enforcement list.
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