11 S Conkling Street: Major Code Violations

Update: As of January 12, all code violations have been fixed, and the tenants now have heat.

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Property Address:  11 S. Conkling Street, Baltimore, MD 21224

Property Owner: 2042 Kennedy Avenue, LLC, Baltimore, MD 21224

Managing Member/Resident Agent for 2042 Kennedy Avenue, LLC: Anthony E. Kelley, 504 S Newkirk Street, Baltimore, MD 21224 (Company is not in good standing with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation)

City Council District and Contact: District 2, Brandon Scott

State Senator:  William Ferguson IV

State Delegates:  Pete HammenLuke ClippingerBrian McHale

Thanks to one person (Reader SF), the owner of this property has been cited for 24 separate code violations by Baltimore Housing. The home is occupied as a rooming house (some would say flophouse), with people living in the unfinished basement, in dangerous conditions. The tenant who was living in the cellar filed a rent escrow complaint with the District Court of Baltimore City, but the complaint was dismissed. Unfortunately, this is a story we hear far too often — our District Court judges need to pay more attention to these complaints, and take these cases seriously when the tenant has documentation to back up their claims. Nobody should be forced to live in uninhabitable dangerous conditions, only to be told by a judge “Too bad.”

The code violations are as follows:

  • Hallway at top of basement steps: Defective floor
  • Basement steps: Area lacks proper protection
  • Basement steps: Defective stair riser(s)
  • Basement rear wall: Defective wall
  • Throughout basement: Illegal extension cords
  • Basement rear ceiling: Defective electrical fixture
  • Basement front: Multiple defective electrical outlets
  • Basement front: Defective water pipe
  • Dining room wall: Defective electrical outlet
  • First floor kitchen: Defective floor
  • First floor kitchen ceiling: Defective ceiling
  • First floor kitchen: Fuse box missing
  • First floor kitchen: Windows or doors not weatherproof
  • First floor kitchen: Defective door hardware
  • First floor kitchen: Defective electrical outlet
  • Rear second floor bathroom: Window glass cracked or missing
  • Rear second floor bathroom: Defective toilet
  • Throughout second floor bathroom: Defective walls
  • Rear basement: Cellar being used as habitable space

The owner, an LLC, has been given 30 days to correct all violations, and has also been ordered to stop allowing people to live in the cellar. You can read the violation notice, in its entirety, by downloading this PDF file.

This is just one of hundreds of unsafe, unhealthy homes I heard about in 2014. Our elected officials need to do more to hold these property owners accountable. Many times the residents won’t complain out of fear of retaliation and being evicted (link opens a PDF) — but this resident complained, and most likely — she and her family will have to move. Why should our most vulnerable residents bear the burden of unsafe and unhealthy housing when we have laws in place to stop property owners like this one? Hold these folks accountable, and demand that our state and local government enforce the laws intended to protect residents from unsafe housing.

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