BENNINGTON — The town is pressing a foreclosure complaint in Bennington Superior Court Civil Division against the owner of a three-unit rental property on Beech Street.
According to supporting documents, the town has sought for more than a year to have M.V. Properties Inc., which owns the apartment house at 202-04 Beach St., correct several health, safety and building code violations noted by town inspectors.
Kim Guertin, of Bennington, is listed as the president of M.V. Properties. Guertin could not be reached for comment.
Officials said the owner has not responded to the steps taken by the town to have the violations addressed.
“The property owner failed to bring the property into compliance pursuant to the court order, and has accrued significant fines,” attorney Merrill Bent, who represents the town, said in an email. “The town has moved to foreclosure in order to recoup those fines. The foreclosure action is currently pending, and there is a hearing scheduled in February. Foreclosure will result in a judicial foreclosure sale of the property.”
A hearing is scheduled in the matter for Feb. 13 in the Bennington court.
A tenant of one of the apartments said Wednesday that the owner has failed to fix longstanding problems, including black mold issues. The resident said all of the units are occupied.
In a January 2022 notice of violations sent by the town to the building owner, the report cited a bathroom ceiling damaged from a water leak; a missing smoke alarm in a bedroom; a kitchen stove with only one burner operable; no cold water supply; a strong odor of cat urine, and other code violations.
In May 2022, the town sought a judgment order from the court to include “an injunction, civil fines, and other relief necessary to cure ongoing and substantial violations [of building, safety and health codes].”
A certified copy of the final judgment order to cure the violations was filed in September, and in October, the town filed a complaint with the court for foreclosure on the property.
As of the Oct. 17 foreclosure filing date, fines assessed because of the violations had reached $55,800 and were accruing at the rate of $200 per day, according to the complaint filing.
The property was acquired by M.V. Properties Inc., which is listed as a rental properties business with the Secretary of State’s office, in a quit claim deed transaction in February 2002.