MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — More than 100 residents of the Mayfield Gardens Apartments began to return Monday morning after being told last week to evacuate the building in 24 hours.
“It was horrible I was at the Red Roof,” said a tenant. “It’s noisy there and I was up till 1:30 in the morning.”
The city of Mayfield Heights ordered tenants out due to safety concerns regarding the structure of the building.
“Actually, I came home Friday night around 12 o’ clock there was a note on the door,” said resident Paula Newman. “At first, I thought it was a scam.”
Cosmetic repairs were underway at the apartments when a contractor raised concern to a structural engineer who alerted city officials according to the city building director.
“There were no failed inspections,” said attorney Lisa Friedman, partner at Powers Friedman Linn representing the building owners. “From what I understand they just saw something in the way the joists where they didn’t know what it was so out of an abundance of caution they notified the city.”
The Mayfield Heights Building Director Braden Thomas, on-site Monday, said 12 units in the corners of the building must remain unoccupied until further notice.
“Since that has happened, the engineering firm was back on-site on Sunday and they did a complete evaluation of the entire building they have deemed the center portion safe to occupy,” said Thomas. “The structural issues on the corners were due to water damage over time, infiltration and at this point, I don’t believe we’ve identified an actual shifting of the building.”
A specific date when residents impacted could move back was not specified.
According to Friedman, apartment management is offering tenants the option to cancel their lease with a refund of a security deposit and July’s rent.
“They were thinking of everyone’s safety that’s the most important thing,” said Newman.