Tampa code violations being fixed, but slowly
TAMPA — Two weeks ago, Jacquelyn Pinkney was living in a motel after her apartment developed a host of problems, from a plugged air-conditioning drain to rotten porch framing.
Today, Pinkney’s back in her apartment, but the problems continue.
Her bathroom ceiling, damaged by a leaking air-conditioning unit, “is like a balloon,” she said.
“It’s unstable,” she said. “You’d be scared to sit in there.”
Pinkney’s problems are part of 18 code violations Tampa officials issued against the Carlyle at Waters apartment complex earlier this month. Seven of them cited a deteriorated structure; four cited the need for minor repairs.
Franklin Street has until Sept. 2 to fix the problems. Pinkney said little is being done.
“Whatever they’re fixing, it’s not in here,” she said.
The code violations became part of Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s 30-day crackdown on property owners who have let their houses fall into disrepair.
Over four weeks, city code inspectors ticketed 684 properties for a range of violations, from overgrown grass to structure damage. The bulk of those tickets were written in three parts of town, but inspectors also visited other neighborhoods as needed.
On a visit to Pinkney’s building two weeks ago, tenants there pointed out rotten siding and a detached stair railing. Those were besides Pinkney’s screened porch, where rotting joists and other failed structure elements were putting her upstairs neighbor in danger.
Work crews installed a set of pressure-treated 4 x 4 posts in Pinkney’s porch to hold up the porch above hers. That didn’t fix the siding and wall, which were buckled so much that rain cascaded into the porch during a storm.
Kelsey Pazur, Franklin Street’s marketing director, said Monday the company is working to fix all the problems at Carlyle.
“We’re doing our best to address those issues,” Pazur said. “We currently have gathered bids for a significant amount of money which would address the structural and cosmetic changes needed.”
Pazur said Franklin Street will submit proposals to the complex’s owner and lender before going further.
In the short term, repair crews will begin work next week on some of the problems, she said.
“One of the first things we’re addressing is the patios and balconies – getting them fixed,” she said.