Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Elyria 31°


Tenants itching for answers to property’s bug problems


LORAIN — Bugs in their apartment at 1703 Oakdale Ave., have forced Arthur Hines and his sons and grandson to sleep on inflatable mattresses.

“Every night we’re itching,” said Hines whose landlord is Kent Sutton. “Every night and day.”

With 57 citations, George Schneider is the landlord most cited by the Nuisance Inspection Task Force — which only inspects the outside of homes — through May 1. Sutton is only one who comes close to Schneider with 48 violations. Both men, who are among Lorain’s biggest property owners, have at least three times as many citations as any other landlord, according to task force records.

The home was one of the first cited by the task force when it formed last July. When The Chronicle-Telegram visited the home in July of last year, Michelle Wragg, who was living in the home at the time, complained of cockroaches. Broken tiles were visible in the bathroom and kitchen and there was no screen on the front door.

However, Hines said Sutton has been a good landlord since November when Hines and his two sons and his 7-month-old grandson moved in. Hines said he doesn’t want to move out, but wishes the bugs would.

Hines said he complained to Sutton in March and a maintenance man arrived a few days later and sprayed a liquid in the home. However, Hines said the bugs, which resemble bedbugs, continue to feast on him and his family.

The family includes Hines’ 31-year-old son, Demetrius Hines. The younger Hines is particularly vulnerable to the bugs. He suffers from cerebral palsy and often lies on the living room carpet because he can’t walk without assistance.

Arthur Hines in April put a mattress that he said was infested with the bugs on his porch to be thrown out. In a follow up interview last month, Hines and his son, Arvin Hines, said more spraying had been done, but the bugs remain.

Arvin Hines said they had to throw out a couch and other furniture and buy four inflatable mattresses. “They didn’t reimburse us for nothing,” he said.

Arvin Hines said he’s been frustrated by the failure to exterminate the bugs.

“If that spray is supposed to kill them, why are they coming back?” he asked. “Other people who lived here said they moved out because of bugs.”

While Arvin Hines was upset about maintenance, Mary Nickerson, his next door neighbor at 1713 Oakdale, said she was satisfied with Sutton. Nickerson said a home she rented from Sutton in 2009 on Lexington Avenue had basement flooding and cockroaches.

However, Nickerson said she has had few problems in her new home since she moved into with her children last July. When a basement water pump burst, Nickerson said repairs were made promptly.

Sutton downplayed the violations during a phone interview he cut short last month.

“Those 48 citations were of such minor stuff that it was unbelievable,” he said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or

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