AG Rokita sues firms for dangerous conditions at two Indy apartment complexes

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed suit Tuesday against a New Jersey-based affordable housing not-for-profit and a New York-based property manager for poor conditions at two Indianapolis apartment complexes.

Rokita is taking aim at Fox Lake AHF Inc. and Aloft Mgt LLC for “their respective roles in allowing the Fox Club and Lakeside Pointe apartment complexes in Indianapolis to fall into egregious disrepair, endangering the health and welfare of thousands of residents,” according to a media release from Rokita’s office.

Located in the Nora neighborhood at 9000 N. College Ave., Lakeside Pointe consists of 588 units on a 41-acre site. Fox Club Apartments, consisting of 336 units on 29 acres, is located at 4401 S. Keystone Ave.

Fox Lake, based in New Jersey, owns both complexes. Aloft, based in New York, is the property manager of Lakeside Pointe.

Fox Lake has received more than 600 notices of violations from the Marion County Public Health Department since 2017, the release said. The problems include failure to provide hot water, air conditioning and heat, as well as failure to address mold, plumbing and sewage issues, missing screens, and scattered trash.

Residents at Lakeside Pointe have experienced fires, lack of heat and air conditioning, water damage, mold, broken windows, and other conditions that have rendered their homes uninhabitable or nearly uninhabitable, Rokita’s office said in the media release.

After Fox Lake racked up an estimated $1 million-plus bill with Citizens Energy Group, residents at both apartments were at risk of water shutoff, which would leave the complexes legally uninhabitable and result in their displacement, according to the suit.

The state alleges that Fox Lake isn’t able to fulfill its not-for-profit purpose of providing affordable housing and that it and Aloft have “engaged in gross neglect” by continuing to take rent payments without putting them toward maintenance or utility bills.

Utility costs are included in rent at both complexes.

The state also claims Aloft hasn’t maintained a state license as a real estate brokerage.

The Indianapolis Business Journal was unable to immediately reach representatives of Fox Lake and Aloft early Tuesday afternoon.

Rokita’s office is asking a judge to appoint a receiver over Fox Lake for the purpose of managing the operations of the Lakeside Pointe and Fox Club, as well as to award civil penalties for various violations of state law.

The case is State of Indiana v. Aloft Mgt., Inc. and Fox Lake AHF, Inc. 

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