We can never stop the news from happening; everyone in Michigan knows that. But when we hear a news story about poor living conditions and property managers who seem to be avoiding their responsibilities, most residents in Michigan can only hope that it’s not happening to them.

Truth be told, most of the time, we gain the most knowledge about our own real estate law system by looking at examples from other states. Because although the laws might be different, the issues remain the same and it’s through careful examination that we discover a remedy to the problem.

Neighbors to our south in Illinois are facing difficulties of their own this month after a group of senior citizens held a protest in front of the Chicago Housing Authority claiming that they were living in deplorable conditions and that the property management company was doing nothing to resolve the issue.

The accused management company is the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation which was founded by a man who spent much of the 60s and 70s fighting against “slumlords” and building quite a name for himself in return.

Residents in several of the other properties managed by the company have spoken up against the protestors, stating that good conditions are constantly maintained in their buildings and that many of the protestors are simply trying to make trouble. At least 20 residents in four senior homes managed by the company however disagree, citing multiple times where their apartment units have been infested with bed bugs, roaches and mice.

The real estate manager has agreed to meet with the protestors and hopefully come to a consensus as to how to fix the problems the tenants are describing. Despite the olive branch, protestors are disappointed that the property management’s owner did not agree to meet with them himself.

Source: WBEZ.org, “Senior citizens blast prominent community leader as a ‘slumlord’,” Leis Wallace, Feb. 19, 2013