This story has been updated to include comment from University Towers management.
University Towers, a student apartment building on South Forest Avenue, received a noncompliance notice from the city early this week threatening fines of more than $200 should they continue to fail to comply with municipal regulations.
The notice informed University Towers it had failed “to correct violations within the time limits specified” in addition to a “failure to obtain a current certificate or compliance with the city of Ann Arbor.”
The warning invoked the City of Ann Arbor Housing Code, which reads, “No person shall lease or otherwise make a dwelling or rooming unit available for occupancy if a certificate of compliance is not in effect for the unit.” Ann Arbor’s Rental Housing Services office conducts inspections of residential units every 30 months and issues certificates of compliance for each property that passes the evaluation.
Dena Isley, the manager of UTowers, said the notice was in regard to the safety of the building’s windows. She said UTowers had “replaced every window in the building” and the city had “pulled the permit.” She added the city still wanted full details and architectural drawings from Edwards Glass — the company that provided the windows — to verify the building is up to code.
“Edwards Glass has submitted some, but [the city] did not like the ones they submitted so they have until the end of the month,” Isley said.
Business sophomore Cameron Zurawlow lives in University Towers. He said he had not heard much from his landlords in regard to the notice.
“I don’t really know what it’s for so I don’t know how it will affect me, but I do know that there has been no email or any communication in regards to this fine from management, which reflects on management as a whole,” he said. “As a resident, it would be nice to be on the same page as management and know all things that are going on with the apartment, but that definitely hasn’t been met.”
He said he was disappointed with the management of University Towers and was willing to move elsewhere.
“Living here kinda has its ups and downs,” he said. “So to be honest, I don’t think management does its best. When looking into UT last year as a freshman, I was promised all new furniture when I would move in my sophomore year. It turns out that when I showed up this year, I did not have new furniture in my apartment, and when I asked the front desk about the situation, they told me that they never said that and that I was not promised new furniture, which was completely wrong on their part.”
LSA sophomore Areesha Shahab also lives in University Towers and felt similarly to Zurawlow. She said she hoped the noncompliance notice would push management to improve their performance.
“I think the fine will cause many to rethink their stay in UTowers for future semesters and feel as though they can detest management more than they think since the city of Ann Arbor pointed out their flaws as well,” Shahab said.
Shahab said friends of hers who also rented units in University Towers were frustrated as well.
“Management isn’t all that great either,” Shahab said. “Some are very rude and unwelcoming. I’ve had a friend visit me in my apartment and get yelled at by a woman at the front desk for walking in the building, (which is) something that I hear other apartment buildings don’t yell at residents for as long as they don’t seem like strangers or pose a dangerous threat. I feel like by doing so, management is deterring future tenants.”
Howard Lazarus, Ann Arbor city administrator; David Kaiser, Ann Arbor city building inspector; and the city’s Rental Housing Services department did not respond to requests for comment.
This is a developing story.