The state housing court has ordered the owners of a high-rise apartment building overlooking Revere Beach to provide temporary housing for dozens of residents displaced by a fire in June and make much-needed improvements to the building, according to city officials and court documents.
The Carabetta Companies, owners of the Water’s Edge apartments, were given five days to provide either self-catering accommodation at a hotel in the Revere area or a temporary apartment in another building in the Water’s Edge complex, according to court records.
The court ordered that by September 1, the landlord must either prepay hotel accommodation until the end of this month for each tenant or have them moved to another Water’s apartment. Edge, according to documents.
The company has also been ordered to hire an external project manager and licensed design professional to oversee the completion of improvements needed following the June 21 fire at 370 Ocean Ave.
The owner was asked to file an investigation and assessment report on the building by September 2. On September 8, the landlord is due to testify at a hearing about repairs needed to make the building safe for tenants, records show.
A hearing on the status of the case is scheduled for October 20.
“This order is a step in the right direction and a victory for our residents,” Revere Mayor Brian M. Arrigo said in a statement Friday. “The City of Revere will continue to take all available legal action to hold the Carabetta Corporation accountable for its continued disregard for its properties and tenants.”
Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday evening.
Associate Judge Irene H. Bagdoian wrote in her ruling Monday that the situation was causing “irreparable” harm to the displaced tenants.
“The Water’s Edge tenants were left homeless through no fault of their own,” Bagdoian wrote. “Their homelessness has arisen because their homes – many of which are in the same condition as when they left them – have been declared unsuitable for human habitation.”
Revere officials had filed a lawsuit on behalf of five residents after the building caught fire and were subsequently convicted of several outstanding code violations that were exacerbated by the fire.
Carabetta, a Connecticut landlord with a history of complaints about several Boston-area buildings, had refused to pay required moving benefits or share insurance information with 82 residents displaced by the fire, the report previously reported. World.
The judge wrote that she was “not persuaded that Water’s Edge comes to this court with entirely clean hands.
“Numerous violations cited in the correction order issued by the city suggest a patchwork pattern and practice of repairs (e.g., corroded fire engine platform and semi-operational fire doors) and negligence outright (e.g. fire missing fire extinguishers, open windows in stairwells affecting operation of fire suppression systems, and failure to replace the fire alarm system late.),” wrote Bagdoyan.
“In the opinion of this Court, the fire may not have been ’caused’ by Water’s Edge, but there is significant evidence to suggest that the extent of the damage could have been lessened had Water’s Edge maintained its fire systems in accordance with applicable code requirements.”
Revere is fining Water’s Edge up to $30,000 a day for violating the code and plans to begin inspections of Water’s Edge and other apartment buildings on the beach soon, officials said.