Sunday, March 11, 2007


Tired of having to respond to an exceptionally high number of calls by deputies, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee and State Attorney Mark Ober have filed a civil lawsuit against the owners of four apartment complexes in north Tampa seeking to require them to take steps to curb criminal activities within the properties. The legal action is requesting owners of the apartment complexes to:

•Hire private full-time security squads
•Install security walls or fences around the complexes
•Install secured and monitored access gates
•Evict and issue trespass warnings to people charged with committing crimes on the property
•Evict anyone who lives in an apartment with another person who is charged with committing crimes on the premises
•Submit to independent inspections for code compliance
•Hire independent property managers to report to the court

If those requirments are not met, the lawsuit calls on the complexes to be closed down. The action is being taken under the "public nuisance" laws due to what the announcement noting it calls the "high crime activity, managerial tolerance of crime on the premises, lack of private security, and unhealthy/dangerous apartments and living conditions".

Now we're not talking about public housing authority properties here. At least a couple of the complexes being targeted have monthly rents of over $1,000. One would believe that renters should expect a certain amount of security paying that amount a month (not including utilities) and that the management would be aggressive to make their properties more desirable by evicting tenants who participate in or assist illegal activities or harbour those who do.


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