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Apartment Owners Have Two and a Half Months to Fix Problems

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Photo by Robb Jacobson for KUT News

A city commission is giving the owners of a Southeast Austin apartment complex 75 days to get the walkways and exteriors of more than a dozen buildings up to code. That includes getting permits and inspections.

A second-floor walkway collapsed at the Wood Ridge Apartments last month and the city originally ordered the more than 150 residents to evacuate. Some were allowed to return right away.

The city has now lifted the vacate order on five remaining buildings, so those people will be allowed back in their homes to collect their belongings  – or even sign a new lease at the property.

The city's Code Compliance Department says fixing the outside of the complex is just the first step.

"First they’re addressing the most dangerous conditions and kind of prioritizing. That’s kind of the next step: ‘Okay, what’s the next priority to get this structure up to code?’ And it may involve some of the interior," said Martinez.

If the complex owners aren’t able to meet the deadlines, they’ll be fined $1,000 per building per week.

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