LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — City inspections at the Big Country Chateau apartments in Little Rock continued on Wednesday after Attorney General Leslie Rutledge made a big announcement.
"I'm announcing a lawsuit against Big Country Chateau and its parent company Apex Equity Group," Rutledge said.
After years of complaints by tenants and a city investigation, Rutledge said she wants the Big Country Chateau apartment owners to pay for what she deemed as mismanagement of rent and utility payments.
"Big Country Chateau chose instead to pocket the money and to not pay those water and electric bills," Rutledge said.
New York area-based parent company, Apex Equity Group, was also named in the lawsuit. Rutledge said she hopes that their time in Arkansas will end soon.
"In addition to the violation it's to prevent them from doing business in Arkansas," she added.
The apartment management in Arkansas has actually been praised by most residents for doing the best that they can under limited resources from the owners.
Management has told us that they're doing what they can to try and fix the various code violations the city addressed on Wednesday.
The code enforcement division said that they've seen some life-safety offenses but management has been cooperative thus far and they believe a fine and a court date might not be necessary.
Residents have been continually frustrated with the unknown of their future at Big Country Chateau.
Management at the apartments has reported thousands of dollars in unpaid rent from residents.
One resident said, "It's just unlivable. It's really unsafe and unlivable. And all we need is for them to step up and help us out but they won't."
Despite the allegedly unlivable conditions at Big Country Chateau, their parent company Apex Equity Group reportedly has millions of dollars in acquisitions.
Code enforcement expects that their full report on the investigation will be ready on Thursday, but the various complaints such as mold and gas issues are things that will need to be followed up on in the future.
The city and the Attorney General's office have not yet tested for mold at the complex.
Big Country Chateau management is expected in city court later this month to address their ongoing gas line issues from 2019.