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Three homes condemned after surprise Health Dept. inspection
ROSS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Three homes were condemned, and the tenants forced out, in what some might call a run-down shanty-town in West Michigan.
The move comes after a surprise inspection by the Health Department.
The privately-owned neighborhood is in Ross Township, just outside of Augusta.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office has been working with Ross Township code enforcement to investigate health and safety concerns in the neighborhood for months.
Sources from multiple agencies tell Newschannel 3 that the property has chronic safety and crime issues, which made this investigation a priority.
Brian Brennan owns and manages the 13 homes that sit on the 7 acre private lot in Ross Township.
"They disturbed my tenants. Every single one of them," Brennan said. "They not only went to the homes that were condemned, but they went to the other homes and went through them."
Among the inspectors, Brennan says he saw the man who also has a claim to the property.
"Then I realized what was going on, because I had a court date this morning," Brennan said.
Brennan then went on to explain to Newschannel 3 that there is a dispute over the land contract.
The Kalamazoo County Health Department contents that condemning the homes had nothing to do with a land dispute.
But the problems go far beyond a lack of electricity, according to the Health Department.
"They went through the well and septics and everything else," Brennan said. "They did a full inspection."
According to Community Health, three homes were condemned for overall deplorable living conditions, and dangerous electrical systems.
DCH says one home was powered by an extension cord coming through the window, buried underground, and plugged in at another house.
Brennan says he's working to fix up the houses on his property by himself, but since he's not licensed, the Health Department says he can't do that.
We also reached out to the other property owner, Phil Cummins, who says he's not happy the way his property is being run, and he's suing to get it back over breach of contract issues--specifically payment.