New bill targets broken elevators in Ohio
CLEVELAND – If you’ve ever had problems with elevators in your building, help might be on the way. After our News 5 survey last April into problematic elevators, a new state bill could address residents’ concerns.
We interviewed State Senator Sandra Williams during this initial report, showing her several unhealthy people who put up with closing elevators for days and weeks. Williams said she too had received complaints and had taken the issue to heart. “My mom lives in a senior citizen apartment building and at one point the elevator was out of service for months,” Williams said.
Report all elevator failures
Williams just presented Senate Bill 244. It states that building owners should notify the state whenever an elevator is out of service. The state would maintain a public list of broken elevators, and Ohio would contact owners within three days to verify the failures. “Some bad actors won’t do anything,” Williams said. “And that’s one way I think we can start to deal with this problem in a systemic way.”
The bill also contains language stating that if an elevator is out of service for more than four days, reasonable accommodations must be made to residents who depend on the elevator.
The reaction of the owners association
“We really try to deal with the professional and respected apartment owner,” said Ralph McGreevy, CEO of the North Ohio Apartment Association this represents many owners. He told us that extensive inspections are already being done by federal programs like HUD. In addition, the state keeps track of elevators. “They are all inspected on a regular schedule,” McGreevy said. “So the state has an idea long before it comes to who the good operators are and who the bad operators are.”
We also met Eric Allen, from our original report, who lives on the fifth floor of a building in Euclid. He told us that the senator’s bill is a big step forward in helping those struggling with constant elevator breakdowns. “I believe owners should be held 100% responsible,” he told us.
Williams said he heard from residents of Ohio after our investigation. “I got calls from all over the state from people who saw it on the internet,” she said.
“Nobody wants an elevator to break down,” said McGreevy, who pointed out that elevator parts are often hard to find, even having to be imported from overseas. In addition, each building contracts with major elevator repair companies to address any issues that arise.
“It’s about making sure people live human lives and also have the basics they need,” said Williams, who suggested that if you’re having trouble with your elevators, write lawmakers. of your state.
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