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AG Rokita sues owners of Lakeside Pointe, Fox Club apartment complexes in Indianapolis

Lawsuit alleges residents were subject to dangerous and unlawful conditions
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Posted at 12:11 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 08:50:55-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The owners of two apartment complexes in Indianapolis that have long been riddled with problems are now being sued.

The Indiana State Attorney General's Office filed lawsuits against the owners and property managers of an apartment complex on Indianapolis' north and south side on Tuesday.

The lawsuit accuses Aloft Mgt, LLC and Fox Lake AHF, LLC of dangerous and unlawful conditions that endanger "the health and welfare of thousands of residents" at the Lakeside Pointe at Nora and Fox Club apartments.

Fox Lake is a nonprofit that owns the Lakeside Pointe apartment complex, on the city's north side, and the Fox Club apartment complex, on the south side.

After a year-long investigation by Attorney General Todd Rokita, the lawsuit alleges that it uncovered severe neglect and mismanagement by both of the companies.

Residents at Lakeside Pointe, specifically, have experience mold, broken windows, water damage, fires, heat and air conditioning problem, and several other nearly-uninhabitable issues that WRTV has been following since 2019.

According to Rokita, Fox Lake has received over 600 notices of violation from the Marion County Public Health Department for the poor living conditions.

In 2019, health department investigators went door-to-door to uncover the full scope of the health-related issues at the Lakeside Pointe apartment. What they found were plumbing and sewage issues, missing screens, scattered trash, and more. It's all been happening since 2017.

Lakeside Pointe at Nora Series

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A photo taken by the Indiana State Attorney General's Office. According to court documents, that photo shows: "Apartment units that have been abandoned but are not secured and are open and accessible and present dangerous conditions to persons and animals entering the units."

“When landlords and property managers fail to meet their basic obligation to provide tenants with safe and secure housing, my office won’t hesitate to take action to hold them accountable and seek justice for Hoosiers who’ve been wronged,” Attorney General Rokita stated in a press release. “In this case, it is in part because of my office’s unique role governing nonprofit corporations that we are able to take this action today. The defendants’ pattern of unlawful conduct, including a failure to maintain even basic habitability standards, is not only unfair, but runs counter to Fox Lake’s stated purpose of providing low-income housing in the Indianapolis community.”

More recently, residents at the north side apartment complex were sent notices that warned them they were at risk of having their water shut off because Fox Lake was $1 million behind on its Citizens Energy Group bill.

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"I applaud the Attorney General's Office for taking legal action against the landlord of Lakeside Pointe at Nora in Senate District 30,” said State Senator Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis). “Over the past few months, I worked very closely with community groups and the Attorney General's Office to bring justice to more than 400 families living at the apartment complex. All Hoosiers deserve to live in dignified and adequate living conditions."

Fox Lake recently lost its charitable property tax exemption from Marion County. Rokita's lawsuit alleges that the nonprofit is unable to provide low-income housing and that its "wasting its assets to the detriment" of the Lakeside Point and Fox residents.

According to the state, property management group Aloft is engaging in real estate transactions without the required licensure.

"After many months of conversations with a range of stakeholders working hard to provide livable conditions for the residents of Lakeside Pointe in Nora, I am thrilled to see legal action against the derelict, out-of-state property owners, Aloft Mgt., LLC,” said State Representative Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis). “I will continue to work with community groups and the Attorney General's Office to help ensure that living conditions improve dramatically and that families can stay in their homes."

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the city welcomes the news of the lawsuit.

"This move will help protect residents while offering hope for improved management of the property," Hogsett said in an emailed statement. "Making sure tenants remain stably housed will continue to be our top priority, and we’re thankful to community stakeholders for their longtime advocacy on behalf of their neighbors.”

WRTV has made several attempts to get a response from Fox Lake and Aloft management and is still awaiting a response.