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Code enforcement inspects Big Country Chateau apartments

Little Rock code enforcement, LRPD, and fire department conducted a routine inspection at Big Country Chateau after residents vocalized their complaints.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Earlier this week, Little Rock Code Enforcement, LRPD officers, and the fire department showed up for a routine inspection that came as a shock to some of the people living there.

For the past week, we have spoken to people who are simply fed up with the living conditions at the Big Country Chateau apartments.

On Wednesday morning, inspectors went door-to-door to see for themselves.

"That's who I knew that needed to come into the picture was the code enforcement," said Debra Peel, a resident at the apartment complex.

Peel moved in during October and said that she had personally called code enforcement at one point after management did not immediately address the sewage backup she was facing.

"They [code enforcement] came out eventually, and took care of the problem because it was an issue," Peel said.

The Little Rock Mayor's office has been alerted of this situation and sent the following statement to us on Monday:

"The City has been made aware of the concerns of residents and is planning an inspection involving elements of Fire and Police Departments, Code Enforcement, and the building inspectors from Planning. However, until those inspections are complete and we have a better understanding of the facts, we can’t speculate as to the outcome of those inspections."

Following this, residents received an official shut-off notice from Entergy Arkansas on Wednesday.

The notice said that electricity would be disconnected on September 1.

Central Arkansas Water also posted a similar notice this month.

During the Little Rock city board meeting on Tuesday, members found out about an existing substantial bill that hadn't been paid to Entergy or Central Arkansas Water— and now legal action is being taken

We learned that former Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola is one of the lawyers who will represent the owner of Big Country Chateau.

In a letter to Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and Little Rock City Directors, Arkansas Renters United urged the city not to close the complex without first working to find and secure the resources needed to help tenants.

Residents are worried about what this could mean for them, and Peel urged the city to help people like her who are disabled.

"It looks like to me that it's come to the end of the line [and], I just would like to get some assistance," she said.

We reached out to the mayor's office and code enforcement for comment, but haven't heard back.

Code Enforcement officers at the apartment wouldn't comment on camera but told us that apartment inspections happen every two years.

Despite this reassurance, some residents we spoke to said they've never seen inspectors visit their apartment complex before.

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