Grand Apartments’ owners are under scrutiny over alleged unpermitted electrical and plumbing work. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Grand Apartments’ owners are under scrutiny over alleged unpermitted electrical and plumbing work. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Decision delayed on $4,500 in fines for Grand Apartments owner

An attorney for the landlord said he only learned of the hearing 15 minutes before it started Thursday.

EVERETT — A landlord facing $4,500 in fines for alleged code violations apparently only notified his attorney minutes before a hearing Thursday morning.

Everett’s code enforcement is alleging Dimension Townhouses had electrical and plumbing work done without permits. Code enforcement officers reported electrical breakers weren’t turned on after some work, which cut power to the emergency lighting in hallways. They also found exposed wiring and other violations.

Former tenants reported those issues and others at the Grand Apartments, a 15-unit complex on Rockefeller Avenue built in 1928.

Dimension Townhouses bought the Grand Apartments for $2.1 million in July 2021. Rucchi and Suneet Diwan are listed in state business filing documents as owners of the Renton-based company, with rental properties from Mount Vernon to Olympia, including five in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Monroe.

No one from the company responded to a Daily Herald reporter’s messages asking for comment about the allegations.

Some of the problems could have existed before the sale, but once the new owner takes over they become their responsibility to bring up to code and get proper permits before work starts, a code enforcement officer wrote in a report.

A code enforcement officer allegedly found burned material near electrical wiring in the Grand Apartments building at 2331 Rockefeller Ave. (City of Everett)

A code enforcement officer allegedly found burned material near electrical wiring in the Grand Apartments building at 2331 Rockefeller Ave. (City of Everett)

Code enforcement officers visited the building at least twice this spring. Both times they found violations. In June, the city issued a code violation citation with notice of the hearing scheduled for Aug. 11.

Seth Goodstein, an attorney for the company, asked for a continuance and said he only learned about it 15 minutes before it started. In the public hearing that began at 10 a.m., he said he received the hearing packet at 10:18 a.m., after the meeting resumed from a technical difficulty for the clerk.

Hearing examiner Sharon Rice denied the request, but said the landlord and attorney had until Aug. 18 to respond to the allegations.

Dimension Townhouses, which also operates as Dimension Properties and Dimension Property Management, faces $4,500 in fines. The city wants the hearing examiner to order the company to bring the cited issues into compliance by Feb. 13.

Goodstein said some of the former tenants published personal information about and harassed his client, who would park down the street to avoid some of them during visits. He asked for the fines to be cut in half.

Everett Code Enforcement issued a violation citation to the owner of the Grand Apartments building at 2331 Rockefeller Ave., after allegedly finding exposed electrical wiring and evidence of unpermitted electrical and plumbing work. (City of Everett)

Everett Code Enforcement issued a violation citation to the owner of the Grand Apartments building at 2331 Rockefeller Ave., after allegedly finding exposed electrical wiring and evidence of unpermitted electrical and plumbing work. (City of Everett)

“The permits have been applied for, we’re in the middle of inspections,” Goodstein said. “All we’re talking about here is money. … Dealing with these occupants has been punishment enough.”

Inspectors saw evidence of unpermitted work even after the code enforcement case was opened, code enforcement officer Kelsey Albertson said. That means workers and others representing the company had access to the building.

“Just applying for the permits does not mean the work was completed,” Albertson said. “Bringing the property into compliance is the biggest component.”

The city’s code enforcement department has until Aug. 23 to respond before the hearing examiner’s decision Aug. 25.

Dimension lists rent for units in the building at around $1,300. A few years ago, median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Everett was $1,350.

Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037; bwatanabe@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @benwatanabe.

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