‘We can barely live in our units’: Northside apartment resident withholding rent until issues get resolved

Residents of a Northside apartment complex said trash has been picked up after submitting several complaints and voicing their concerns to the News4JAX I-TEAM Tuesday, however, a resident said they are now dealing with a handful of other maintenance issues at the property.

Tyler Lawson, resident of Northwood Apartments on Dunn Avenue, said they still don’t have dumpsters to dispose of their trash, and they can’t use their pool or laundry facilities due to a lack of maintenance.

“I should have what I signed for. What I’m paying $1,000 a month for?” said resident Tyler Lawson.

The contractor pulled the dumpsters recently and said the apartment complex hadn’t been paying for trash pickup, a lapse that left the garbage piling up.

This complex is privately owned so the city can’t get involved with the trash problems, but they have issued the owner of Northwood citations amounting to almost $6,000.

“There’s not a single thing we can do here. We can barely live in our units,” Lawson said.

Lawson, who has been living there since May, said he is withholding his rent this month because of the ongoing problems.

“I’m following the due process. I’ve contacted Jacksonville Legal Aid and using y’all’s stories too to find out what my renter’s rights were,” Lawson said.

Lawson said he is currently dealing with mold and termites inside his apartment. He also said he needs his AC fixed.

“It makes me feel like the trash that gets discarded on the side,” Lawson said. “They just don’t care. We’re not people. We’re just assets.”

Consumer Protection Lawyer Glenn Banner is investigating the problems at Northwood and said it’s clear there are multiple violations of the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act.

“So in this situation, the violation would be violations of city code, and for violating the lease because they’re not providing the pickup and the trash service,” Banner said.

According to Banner, if his investigation shows a pattern of misconduct, this could potentially lead to a class action lawsuit against the owner and management company.

“Just fix it. Or give us our rent back,” Lawson said.

If you’re considering withholding rent, you must have proper documentation of code violations and give a seven-day written notice to your landlord.

MORE | Renters Rights: When you can withhold your rent

News4JAX reached out to Northwood Apartments’ management company Friedman Real Estate for comment. They have not replied.

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