Southwood Realty Company fined for having faulty smoke detectors


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) — Marvin Vasquez wasn’t home when a fire tore through his apartment Thursday morning, but now he’s trying to pick up what’s left.

The Charlotte Fire Department cited the property managers, The Southwood Realty Company, for having non-working or missing non-smoking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, missing fire extinguishers and failing to service fire extinguishers.

“We went to go look for a fire extinguisher but there wasn’t one in the box down by our apartment. There wasn’t one in the box on the second floor and none of the smoke detectors were going off,” Chris Flees said.

On Thursday and Friday, we attempted to get a response from the Southwood Realty Company and on Friday they sent us a statement that read in part quote:
“…We received the citation. We are working diligently with the CFD to ensure the community is in compliance with all fire codes.”

Our cameras captured Summit Ridge Maintenance workers removing all the fire extinguishers on the property. CFD tells FOX 46 Charlotte, the fire extinguishers are not required but because they were installed property managers must maintain them by law.

FOX 46 also went into other apartments to see if they had working smoke alarms. While the ones we saw were functioning properly, tenants like Selina Stewart tell fox 46 getting anything fixed can be a real challenge. 

“They are very slack, they don’t want to get on anything. We’ve asked them about the thermostat. They still haven’t come in an change it. We’ve asked them about our dishwasher, about everything and they just won’t come and change anything but they want our money every month,” Stewart said.

We even went to another property managed by Southwood Realty and residents there had a similar story. A woman we spoke with, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she’s written letters to management with no response.

“I’ve had problems with getting things fixed. I understand that North Carolina law requires you to have screens on your windows, I don’t have those. My refrigerator is an issue. There were some issues with my stove when I first moved in. It took about a month to resolve.” 

Both say once their contract is up, they’re finding a new place to live.

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