Residents sue West Baltimore apartment complex owners over needed repairs and alleged infestations
HomeHome > Blog > Residents sue West Baltimore apartment complex owners over needed repairs and alleged infestations

Residents sue West Baltimore apartment complex owners over needed repairs and alleged infestations

Sep 05, 2023

Residents of two West Baltimore apartment buildings are suing the property owners and a management company, alleging the companies refuse to address persistent rodent infestations and make needed repairs.

Both buildings are for low-income residents whose rents are subsidized by the federal government. The buildings straddle Madison Avenue, with one building in Druid Heights and the other in Madison Park. The properties have different owners, but both have used the same management company, Towner Management, and both have received poor marks from regulators.

The Walker Daniels House at 2100 Madison Avenue narrowly passed a federal inspection in April with a score of 62, but inspectors found at least one life-threatening health and safety deficiency.

The Bellevieu Manchester Apartments at 342 Bloom Street has racked up 28 violations since July 2022 from Baltimore housing inspectors for a variety of problems including rodents, possible mold, water leaks and water spots.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Baltimore Circuit Court, six residents — ranging in age from 62 to 71 — say their apartments also are plagued with drafty windows, broken appliances, defective electrical systems and leaky plumbing. The residents are represented by Maryland Legal Aid.

City records show neither property has an active rental license with the city. Both complexes are listed on the website of The French Companies, the parent company of Towner Management. Towner is a defendant in the lawsuit.

According to French’s website, Towner manages 15 other apartment complexes in Baltimore, almost all of which appear to be for low-income residents receiving some form of government rental assistance.

There did not appear to be any contact information online for the owner of the Bellevieu Manchester, Bellevieu-Manchester Limited Partnership.

The owner of the Walker Daniels House is a nonprofit called the Reginald and Marguerite Daniels Housing for the Elderly Inc., and it lists a contact number in its tax documents. However, that number is the same one listed for The French Companies.

A woman who answered and identified herself as an employee of The French Companies said Towner no longer manages the buildings and was unaware that a lawsuit had been filed. She declined to give her name.

Both buildings are still shown on the French website.

According to its website, The French Companies got its start in the early 1980s when Jay French came to Baltimore from the Washington, D.C., area to participate in neighborhood renewal efforts close to the harbor and downtown and began renovating houses in Federal Hill and Ridgely’s Delight. It subsequently branched out into apartment development and property management.

A contact email listed by The French Companies was not in operation.