IU Credit Union is taking a Bloomington landlord to court because he’s allegedly more than $300,000 behind on loan and property tax payments for several of his rental properties. Jeff Jones owns Pendragon Properties, which offers a variety of apartment, house and commercial rentals in Bloomington.
According to court documents, Jones defaulted on loans for Shamrock Pointe Apartments, Shadow Pointe Apartments, The Crossing at Walnut Springs, Hoosier Flats, Roll Avenue Apartments and four other rental properties.
Shamrock Pointe resident Chris McMillen says he found out about the cases when he got an unusual knock on his door.
“It was the sheriff, which is never good news generally,” McMillen says. “So, he had a large packet of paper and just said roughly that our landlord was in court for something to do with something and that they could be seizing his property because of it.”
IU Credit Union filed the foreclosure cases earlier this year but wouldn’t comment on the litigation.
McMillen says he hasn’t heard anything from the property managers, either.
“They haven’t said a word, haven’t bothered to contact us or anything,” he says.
Court documents say because of the default, IU Credit Union is requesting Jones pay the remainder of his loans in full, as well as any interest and late fees. That amounts to more than $5 million, which increases every day until the payments are received.
Neither Jones nor his attorney responded to requests for an interview.
The tenants and the City of Bloomington are also named in the civil suits because they have an interest in the outcome of the cases. Court documents show Jones owes the city’s sewer department hundreds of dollars. They also say Jones owes Housing and Neighborhood Development more than $654,000 in fines. The city’s taken him to court for a variety of issues with his rental properties over the past several years. The violations range from not having a valid occupancy permit, to having holes in the walls and ceilings of some rental units.
HAND Director Doris Sims says all rental properties must be registered with the city and are subject to inspections. If a property isn’t in compliance and the owner doesn’t fix the violations in a timely manner, the city can take legal action.
“We look at it on a case-by-case basis: how long the property has been out of compliance, is the property owner bringing it up to compliance?” Sims says. “So, we look at different factors. And, then what happens is then the courts will assess what the fines are.”
Sims says the city can’t stop a landlord from renting out properties, even if there’s a history of repeat violations.
“As long as someone follows what our rental code says … they can rent property as long as they have a valid rental permit,” Sims says.
The big question many Pendragon Properties tenants have is what all of this means for them.
“I was worried we would lose our lease right away,” McMillen says. “But, I asked the sheriff if that was the case and he assured me that that wouldn’t be the case and our lease would stand. And, the worst case scenario that we’d hopefully get a new landlord.”
If IU Credit Union forecloses on the properties, they’d be put up for auction at Sheriff’s Sales. But the tenants’ current leases still stand.
You can look up violations for Bloomington rental properties by filling out a request form with the HAND department. Sims says that’s something tenants should always do before signing a lease.