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Confusion in city agencies compounds problems for renters in Silver Oaks Apartments

Recent meetings may bring about change
Confusion in city agencies compounds problems for renters in Silver Oaks Apartments
Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 17:49:19-04

TAMPA, Fla. — As issues continue at Silver Oaks apartments in Tampa, ABC Action News has been digging to find answers about complaints and inspections.

Our initial report showed the terrible living conditions at the 200-unit complex that is operated under Cambridge Management. The conditions included what appeared to be mold on living room furniture, sewage backups, and rodents in the ceiling of several units.

Through a public records request to the Department of Business and Professional Regulations, ABC Action News discovered a common thread of complaints that included sewage backup, wastewater disposal, and balcony safety.

In follow-up reports the issues were fixed but were reported again within that two-year span.

The same day our report aired a member with DBPR had inquired about a recent complaint from a resident and asked a colleague who should look into it.

In the email exchange, he said, "Please see below for an email we received regarding an issue a constituent is having with her apartment building. I’m not 100% sure what this falls under but I thought you may be able to provide some guidance. I believe this may be a DBPR issue but I wasn’t entirely sure.

I think this is either...

A. DBPR regulatory issue

B. A local city/county ordinance issue,

C. A federal HUD issue since it relates to housing, or

D. A combination thereof

I have also pasted a separate email from the constituent below, essentially stating that sewage is backing up into common areas and the situation presented an immediate health and safety risk. Thoughts on approaching this? Is this under the DBPR purview? If not, which agency or branch would be the best place to refer this? I initially reached out to the Dept of Health, and they indicated that apartments are regulated under DBPR."

Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman said this confusion was addressed at a meeting last week with the secretary of DBPR, HUD, and city and county leaders.

She said there are holes in accountability factors and that it is not on purpose but is not helpful.

Overman said that has been addressed and a meeting is planned in the next ten days to discuss solutions and safer living conditions.

In an email to ABC Action News, a representative for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she plans on visiting the complex again in the near future.