Management for troubled Serenity Towers back in court one day after resident’s death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Attorneys for a troubled Memphis apartment complex were back in court Thursday, just one day after a resident died at the property.

Memphis Police said they responded to a DOA call Wednesday around 12:15 p.m. at Serenity Towers on Highland.

MORE: MPD investigates death at Serenity Towers amid complex’s legal issues

The cause of the person’s death is unknown at this time.

An attorney for Serenity at Highlands said there’s no reason to believe the tenant’s death was a result of troubles at the East Memphis complex.

The death is under investigation, and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office has asked for an autopsy.

Assistant District Attorney Mike McCusker said he’s requesting a report from the coroner’s office to confirm the person’s death was not connected to problems at Serenity.

“This person did live in an apartment with air-conditioning, so it’s not a concern of overheating or anything along those lines,” McCusker said.

Meanwhile, attorneys told the judge that air conditioning had been restored in most of the units.

However, FOX13 met a resident who says his A/C is still not working.

“I have the fans on, but they will be blowing hot air out,” Clinton White said.

It’s been months since White has been able to turn on his A/C, he said. He lives on the fourth floor at the Serenity at Highland apartment complex.

“When it’s hot, it’s hot. The heat is going to hit you in the hall,” White said.

No air conditioning isn’t the only problem. Residents have also reported not having any hot water, along with mold, bed bugs, and insects inside their units.

The conditions have landed managers with the complex in Shelby County Environmental Court.

MORE: ‘It’s inhumane’: Assistant DA uncovers deplorable conditions at local apartments with no AC

Attorneys for the complex told a judge Thursday that A/C has been restored to all but 23 units, and the hot water has been turned back on.

“Your honor, I think where we are is we are working to complete the repairs.” Ben Sissman, an attorney representing Serenity Towers, said.

Code enforcement officers said there is still mold throughout the entire property.

“Once you walk to the front area of the lobby, you can smell it. It’s a very strong odor around the property,” a code enforcement officer testified.

Attorneys for the complex said a pest control company is treating for bed bugs and spraying daily for fruit flies.

The Assistant D.A. said they are also working on setting up a group of volunteers to come over to the complex and show residents how they can report maintenance issues online.