Landlord did fixes, but more needed

NASHUA – A follow-up inspection of a Summer Street property yielded a mixed bag of some work properly done, some still needing to be done and a request for an engineer to report on the structure’s integrity.

City inspectors say they’re trying not to get caught in the crossfire of a long and heated dispute between the landlord, Kevin Monaco, and the tenants, John and Bonnie Perrault.

“This is a very hostile relationship between the landlord and the tenant,” said Nelson Ortega, the city’s code enforcement department manager.

“We’re trying to stay out of the hostile part of it,” Ortega said.

The Oct. 10 inspection of 24-26 Summer St. found that “the work that was completed was done properly,” according to a memorandum written by Michael Findley, the building department manager.

That included work in the east section of the basement and in the attic along the east-west ridgeline, according to Finley’s memorandum.

However, work must also be completed on the north-south ridgeline, Findley wrote.

Floors in some units were still out of level, Findley wrote.

“Final determination of the building’s structural integrity should be determined by a structural engineer, hired by the owner, as prescribed in the 2003 building permit,” Findley wrote.

The memorandum concluded that remaining roof work should be done “prior to the snow season.”

In an Oct. 16 letter to Monaco, Kyle Metcalf, city code enforcement officer, wrote, “The exterior had minor clean-up issues, nothing of any major significance needed to be completed on the exterior of your property as we discussed on the 10th.”

In a phone interview, Ortega said Monaco has until Nov. 14 to produce a letter from a structural engineer showing that the property is safe.

“That’s the number one thing we need to see from Mr. Monaco by that date,” Ortega said.

Monaco said he’ll do what the city asks him to do, but he contends the building is safe. If it weren’t, the city would have condemned it, and the city has never shown him where and how the building is unsafe, he said.

“If it isn’t safe, please prove to me where it’s not safe and we can fix it,” Monaco said.

He also said some minor repairs haven’t been done to the Perraults’ unit because the couple has steadfastly refused to let him into their apartment.

“There’s a handful of minor repairs to be done there,” Monaco said. “If I could get in there, they would have been done.”

Bonnie Perrault said Monaco hasn’t showed up to do the repairs. She also said the city is “a joke” and criticized the city code department, the police and courts for not following up on the couple’s complaints.

The couple has contended that Monaco started eviction procedures against them after they complained about the state of the building and that the landlord hadn’t built a handicap-accessible ramp after John Perrault, who is disabled, began using a wheelchair.

In turn, Monaco contends the issue is that the Perraults are behind on their rent.

Only after he sent a letter warning them they could be evicted did the couple begin complaining about their unit and the building needing repairs, Monaco said.

Monaco and the Perraults have attended four contentious court hearings since July.