‘Gimme Shelter’: Why mold and sewage complaints evade L.A. apartment inspectors

Earlier this year, code enforcement officials at the city of Los Angeles cleared the Chesapeake Apartments in South L.A. after a required inspection that was supposed to ensure its rental units were habitable. The complex has 425 apartments and takes up multiple city blocks.

But the city’s clean bill of health belied the numerous problems with mold, sewage leaks, faulty smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and other issues that tenants say have plagued the massive complex for years. Beyond that, a 2020 investigation in LAist found Chesapeake Apartments’ owner has been accused by tenants and multiple government agencies of allowing similar conditions across a more than $1-billion real estate empire that’s centered in Southern California.

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