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Code inspector issues court warrant for re-inspection of Big Country Chateau

A letter from the code inspector who did the last round of inspections says that management has been absent for months with no security or maintenance.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Code violations continue at Big Country Chateau apartments in Little Rock.

Now, a code inspector has a court warrant to go back and check every apartment, inhabited or not, to see if any repairs have been made.

This is on top of the state filing an emergency petition to freeze the company's money— something Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin wants to happen immediately before the owners have time to disappear with the cash.

For years, tenants at Big Country Chateau have had unsafe living conditions and code violations. 

Griffin is suing the owners of the apartment complex for deceptive trade practices. He said they are taking the tenant's money, and not using that money for its intended use.

The attorney general asked the judge for an emergency petition to freeze the assets of the owners and is asking for someone to be appointed as a receiver to run the property, fix it up and pay the utilities.

Little Rock City Director Andrea Lewis went to Big Country Chateau two weeks ago to see what the living conditions were like for herself.

Building damage, flooding and cockroaches were some of the biggest things that stood out to Lewis when she visited with tenants.

"I visited with four families and I will say it was quite disturbing," Lewis said. "It breaks my heart... just seeing them in those living conditions it's unacceptable."

Lewis said she was able to get some families moved to other apartments. 

The City of Little Rock has the warrant to inspect every unit for code violations again.

A letter from the code inspector who did the last round of inspections says that management has been absent for months with security and maintenance no longer working there.

The letter also detailed violations that had not been fixed since the last time the code inspector was there.

"The utmost importance is making sure they are held accountable," Lewis said."Because if you are a resident and you are paying the rent with the understanding that the utilities will be paid, we have to look out for the residents."

Griffin has asked for an emergency hearing to have the receiver appointed as soon as possible.

The next round of inspections is expected to start next week with the judge wanting to hear the results on Feb. 13.

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