East Orange condo residents say conditions have improved since News 12 report, but problems remain
Residents who live in an East Orange condominium tower say that deplorable conditions have started to improve after News 12 New Jersey first reported on the issues Wednesday.
Prospect Towers residents complained about piles of trash, partially fallen ceilings and overall filthy conditions. But since News 12’s report, the pile of trash that had been sitting out has been cleared.
Residents say that this is due to the mayor who visited the complex on Friday.
There was also a looming threat of having the power turned off due to a lack of payment, but this has not happened.
Residents say that the problems with the building management are not new.
“This is actually the second time we’re running into the same issue,” says Daniel Clyburn, former condo board president.
News 12 reported on this same building 12 years ago as residents were evacuated when their utilities were shut off for nonpayment. And just days ago PSE&G alerted residents that their electricity was in danger of being shut off yet again.
“You would think that it’s the same person again just under another LLC, because it’s the same makeup as the last investor,” Clyburn says.
Renters and owners alike have the same gripes with Royal Property Management Group which currently manages the building.
“I have to go to someone else’s house sometimes to take showers. Sometimes to cook food that has to go in the oven,” says renter Jackie James.
Residents say they’re paying their rent or their condo maintenance fees. They say the money should be going into the building. Condo owners say they’ve asked management for the building’s financial records with no success.
“Seven years - they’ve never had to ask for their rent money. They get paid every month. They have no problems over here, so I don’t understand what’s going on,” says tenant Celeste Law.
“When we get an electric bill or something that is due, our question is where’s the money?” Clyburn says. “If you don’t have anything to hide, why are you not showing us what we’re asking for?”
Condo owners say they fear management is attempting to push them out by allowing the building’s condition to deteriorate.
East Orange Mayor Ted Green wrote partially in a statement, "Anytime there are issues like this, we immediately send out our inspectors and issue the appropriate summonses until all problems are resolved. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that the building maintains habitable conditions and poses no risk to residents, employees, and visitors."
“I think the plan for the building is to make the owners here so uncomfortable that we wind up selling our units,” Clyburn says.
News 12 NJ reached out to Royal Property Management Group on Wednesday and again on Friday. They did not respond. The mayor’s office says the landlord is cooperating with the city to fix the building’s current issues