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'Intolerable': City of Cleveland files lawsuit against Shaker Square property owners

Tenants from the Residences at Shaker Square have been demanding action for better living conditions.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The city of Cleveland filed a lawsuit in housing court on Monday against owners and managers of the Residences at Shaker Square.

Court documents describe the living conditions as "intolerable" at the three buildings located at 12701, 12500 and 12600 Shaker Boulevard, citing the properties as a threat to public safety and a public nuisance with many units in the buildings below city code.

In four separate inspections, the Cleveland Department of Building and Housing found 107 violations of city code, according to the court documents.

"They just tore all the carpet up and never came back to fix it. They never fixed the leak," said tenant Saretha Douglas about her rooftop patio.

Douglas said the list of issues in her apartment and the building as a whole has become extensive.

"The water is off constantly, constantly they got to have the water off. The elevator right now doesn't work. I had to climb 8 flights of steps," Douglas said.

Douglas is one of many tenants that have told 3News they are fed up with the conditions like leaks, water damage, no heat or a properly working elevator.

"Usually it works, but sometimes it doesn't," said Ronald James.

James leads the tenants association for the three buildings. He's been working with city leaders to hold the property owners accountable, joining them during a press conference in February.

He said one of the property owners, who are based in New York City, came to meet with tenants two weeks ago. He said they have fixed some problems, like peeling paint, the lock on the front door and heat in most units.

But he felt like the meeting was full of more empty promises.

"They've been doing some things but there's a lot that needs to be done and people are getting tired of the same old excuses," James said.

He's hopeful the new legal action will push things in the right direction.

"Hopefully we'll get somebody who comes in and corrects these problems as soon as possible," James said.

You can read the lawsuit below:

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