16 Tenants In Dilapidated Apartment House Get The Boot w/ No Prior Notice; Dangerous Conditions Force City To Shut Down Premises On Eve Of F'closure
- The Salisbury Beach apartment building at 14 Ocean St. deemed uninhabitable by town inspectors will be up for sale in a foreclosure auction Sept. 15, as its owners Jack and Marina Kitzis walked away from it, leaving five families homeless.
- After nearly 30 calls from town inspectors since May concerning the unsafe state of the building's staircase, its electrical and plumbing systems, as well other code violations, Kitzis told Salisbury building inspector David Lovering on Aug. 10 if his insurance company won't pay to fix what's wrong with the building, he was going to forfeit the property to the bank.
- Town Manager Neil Harrington has since Aug. 16 tried unsuccessfully to make contact with the bank that now has control of the buildings. Harrington and selectmen had hoped the bank would make the needed improvements to the buildings, allowing the 16 displaced tenants to return to their homes. "Right now, I think it's fairly clear that the families who once lived there won't be returning," Harrington said.
- The electricity was turned off, and firefighters tore down the stairs as a precaution. Although firefighters helped residents out via ladders, tenants left most of their food and belongings behind and were out on the street with no shelter.
- Kitzis was called to the scene that night [of the eviction], agreeing to put up the tenants for one night at a Salisbury motel, but since then the families -- most with young children -- have had to shift for themselves. Kitzis has not returned security deposits or rents for the month of August, leaving the families cash strapped as well. [...] The foreclosure may let Kitzis wiggle out of his responsibilities to his mortgage holder and his tenants, but Harrington hopes there's a way to move legally -- even criminally -- against him in weeks to
(1) For one thing, he can be charged with theft of entrusted funds for refusing to return the tenants' security deposits that he pocketed (and that he should have kept in a segregated bank account).