Bugging Out

Greek Town's Taki Dadiotis wants to clean up Colfax, but angry tenants say he should start with his own apartments.

"So I had to go back to Taki," she explains. "I have a few canned goods in the cupboard, and all my other food stays in the refrigerator. I have to hide my dog's food and scoop roaches out of the water dish."

Dadiotis has thirty days to correct the latest round of violations or face the possibility of court action. James Lastoka, the public-health sanitarian who's inspected the properties several times over the past few years, notes that past complaints have been addressed and views the violations as "not unusual for rental property." Some problems, he suggests, could be corrected quickly if tenants would notify him.

"I never saw a landlord that brought cockroaches into his own unit," Lastoka says. "It's usually a fifty-fifty deal. If it was a single-family home, it would be the tenants' responsibility. The only sure method of control is to do a treatment of the whole building or the affected units, because once they're there, they're going to spread."

Hamilton says other tenants have tried to persuade Dadiotis to bring in an exterminator, but he hasn't responded to their pleas. For his part, Dadiotis says he's had it with the kind of tenants his low-rent apartments seem to attract.

"Anytime anything's wrong, I fix it," he says. "They destroy the furniture every two, three months. I got carpets. They destroy the carpets."

Although he insists the buildings will be fully repaired before the thirty-day grace period has expired, he adds, "The people you have over there, you're going to have problems all the time. I don't know from day to day what's going to happen there. I'm selling it. I'm tired of dealing with people who are only looking for a free ride."

Dixon says she isn't looking for a free ride, just a clean, well-lit apartment at a price she can afford. She hasn't found it yet. "I think people should know," she says, "what kind of places he's renting out here."

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