LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Ongoing issues at Big Country Chateau Apartments are now being addressed in court.

You have seen the story here for months, as we have followed ongoing issues at the apartments since as early as summer of 2022.

The City of Little Rock is suing the owners over life safety violations we originally reported on this summer. While the defense attorney has pled guilty for the complex, he said some of it was out of his hands.

“We owned up to issues at the property,” said defense attorney Sylvester Smith. “We didn’t force the city to take us to trial. We pled guilty and said yes, there are some issues.”

Code enforcement officers for the city of Little Rock were also present in court Monday. One reported on its most recent inspection at the apartments, stating the numerous life safety violations found again.

Tenants also testified in court, explaining their living conditions that they said have gotten worse over time. 

Defense attorney Sylvester Smith said tenants quit paying rent once these issues started coming to light, leaving the complex out $300,000 in rent so far. He said they owe around $120,000 in utilities. 

Smith will bring a witness to testify in court on February 23, where the judge is expected to make a decision on fines. 

The city will also call on several city employees for testimony as well. 

In the meantime, the city has offered services to help tenants relocate. A judge also appointed a new temporary receiver of the complex last week to take over the property and its finances.