Restraining order against Peppertree Apartments could be extended another 4 months

Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 6:42 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For the last three months or so, Peppertree Apartments has not been allowed to sign on new tenants or extend current leases.

This was after a judge ruled in favor of a temporary restraining order (TRO) being placed on the complex in late August after multiple findings were shown in Federal court of the unsafe conditions tenants face.

One anonymous viewer sent Action News 5 video from their apartment on the complex, showing raw sewage seeping up and onto the property grounds.

The viewer said the sewage was even coming out of the shower.

“(Peppertree has) said they are working on it. We have not seen enough,” said Shelby County D.A. Steve Mulroy.

D.A. Mulroy inherited the Peppertree case from his predecessor, former D.A. Amy Weirich, who filed the public nuisance order in November of last year.

The new D.A. shares the opinion of Weirich in that Peppertree’s failures pose threats to tenants and the surrounding area.

Since late August, when the TRO was implemented, Memphis police have been called to the complex 59 times, according to the Memphis Data Hub, with crimes ranging from theft to aggravated assault.

“Until those conditions are addressed, until the property is made safe, we’re going to continue with the lawsuit,” Mulroy said. “We’re going to continue with the order to not add new tenants until the conditions are addressed.”

The current TRO expires at the end of December but Chief Legal officer for the City of Memphis, Jennifer Sink says more restrictions may be on the way.

Mulroy said extending the TRO, rather than filing a permanent injunction, which would close the property, will allow Peppertree’s owners, Tesco Properties out of Germantown, more time to address the concerns and also give tenants time to find another place to live.

“We’re actively working on a compromise, and we need time in order to address that,” Mulroy said. “Immediately shutting down the property isn’t an ideal solution because we don’t want to displace those tenants, not at least until we have found new, suitable, alternative housing.”

Tesco Properties did not respond to our requests for comment.

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