Franklin County Auditor Investigates Property Manager: Allegations of Housing Violations

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The Franklin County Auditor’s Office has launched an investigation into a property manager who has been accused of being a slumlord by numerous tenants across the county. With over 100 rental homes under his management and nearly a dozen ongoing investigations into alleged housing violations, the office is taking action to ensure the well-being and safety of tenants.

Daniella Venable of NBC4 Columbus was the first to break this story, highlighting the plight of a family who had been without heat for a week and the multiple housing violations associated with the property manager. This prompted the auditor’s office to step in and scrutinize the business practices of the property manager.

Currently, there are 239 housing violations found against Jeff Island Field’s properties, according to Columbus City Code Enforcement. These violations range from leaky sinks to infestations of mice. One tenant, Vicki Myers, expressed her fear and frustration, stating, “I’m scared to be here.” She showcased the extent of the issue in her home, with mousetraps and droppings scattered throughout.

Myers explained that Island Field had sought her out after she qualified for Section eight housing assistance. She had no prior knowledge of the condition of the property and its violations. Similar concerns have been raised across the county, and the auditor’s website reveals that there have been multiple changes of entities associated with Island Field, making it difficult for stakeholders to track ownership and property trends.

Recognizing this loophole, the auditor’s office aims to address the issue at no cost to ensure transparency and accountability. By implementing measures to track changes in property management, they hope to prevent similar incidents in the future. It is essential to note that these investigations are crucial not only to hold property managers accountable but also to protect the well-being of tenants.

Since the initial story aired, the auditors’ efforts have yielded results. The family that was without heat for a week had their issue resolved after the story gained attention. Nevertheless, the auditor’s office continues to investigate Island Field. It has been discovered that he is in the process of transferring over 100 properties to someone else’s name under the rental registry. Failure to report management changes would result in fines of $150 for each property.

Daniella Venable attempted to obtain a statement from Island Field, but he did not answer her calls or come to the door. However, he later contacted her via text, indicating his inability to provide a statement at that time.

The tenants affected by these housing violations, like Vicki Myers, are relieved that their concerns are being acknowledged. They now have hope that their issues will be resolved, and they feel heard and cared for. The auditor’s office has shown its dedication to rectifying these problems and ensuring the safety, comfort, and well-being of tenants across Franklin County.

In conclusion, the Franklin County Auditor’s Office is actively investigating the allegations against property manager Jeff Island Field. With numerous housing violations and a lack of accountability in property ownership, the auditor’s office aims to address these issues. By implementing measures to track changes in property management, they are determined to protect the rights and well-being of tenants. It is crucial to hold property managers accountable to ensure safe and adequate living conditions for all residents.

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