Deadline nears for landlord to clean up rental property - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Deadline nears for landlord to clean up property

Steve Varnadoe Steve Varnadoe

A Savannah landlord has been given two weeks to clean up his property or his tenants will be evicted.

Police and building inspectors have been trying for years to get the place cleaned up. It's a 1930s motel that was converted into low-cost studio apartments.

In a competitive rental market, it can be hard for low-income residents to find a place to live.

When they do find a home, how can police and city officials make sure they're safe and that the people living aaround them are safe?

That's a question a Recorder's Court judge in Savannah is trying to answer.

At issue is the Arbor Cottages on Ogeechee Road.

Steve Varnadoe owns the property and has been in court every week for a month. Judge Claire Cornwell-Williams has told Varnadoe that he has to show progress at his property every week - clearing out broken-down vehicles and rewiring the cabins or the property will be shut down and the tenants evicted. 

On Monday, Varnadoe went back and forth with the judge for nearly two hours.

"You're trying to get into it with me, and I'm sitting in court with a deputy. So, Mr. Varnadoe, I'm telling you the easiest, best way to do it. If you don't want to follow my advice, then we end up in a mess," the judge told Varnadoe. 

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