Owner of condemned Executive Inn to face charges of violating codes

The owner of the Executive Inn has been ordered to appear in court on eight charges of violating maintenance codes by failing to repair and maintain the Rock Hill hotel, which was condemned on Thursday.

All residents must vacate the property by next Friday.

Punam Patel is due in court on Oct. 14 to face eight charges of violating city ordinances by failing to properly maintain the Anderson Road hotel and not making city-mandated repairs. His bond is set at $1,092.50, according to the court summonses.

Calls to Patel and his lawyer, Brian McCoy, were not returned on Friday. The manager at the Executive Inn said Patel was out of town and would not return until early next week.

A “notice of condemnation and notice of violation” addressed to Patel and HS Enterprises of Rock Hill, Inc. was served at the Executive Inn on Thursday, said city spokeswoman Katie Quinn. Patel wasn’t at the property at the time, but the person who received the notice notified him immediately, Quinn said.

The notice of condemnation and violation, which was written by an official in the planning and development department, says the hotel failed a May 5 inspection and Patel was given a deadline for making repairs and providing the city with a plan for such repairs.

Violations at the hotel included maintenance issues such as exposed wiring and broken stairways, safety issues such as missing or inoperable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and sanitation issues such as a “German cockroach infestation.” All of the violations have “created an environment of garbage, filth and potential contamination,” according to the notice.

Of the 188 guest rooms, 100 were deemed unfit for human occupancy.

The notice says the plan Patel submitted had “deficiencies,” and another inspection of the Executive Inn at the end of September noted new problems including a gas leak that caused the company to discontinue service to the hotel and evidence that people were living in four of the 100 rooms already deemed unfit for human habitation.

Some of the repairs appeared to be an effort to hide problems instead of fixing them, the notice said. A mirror was hung over a hole in the drywall, and someone painted over mold and mildew, according to the notice.

Because of the violations and a failure to fix them, the Executive Inn was deemed “unfit for human occupancy” because “the structure is in disrepair and lacks maintenance, is insanitary, vermin infested, contains filth and contamination and lacks proper ventilation, sanitary or heating facilities.” The notice calls the hotel “dangerous.”

On Thursday, residents at the Executive Inn said they hadn’t had hot water in their rooms for some time and said the toilets rarely function properly. Two hotel rooms were left unlocked for residents to share the bathrooms.

The summons issued to Patel accuses him of not repairing roof drainage defects, having missing or inoperative smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, failure to maintain ventilation, failure to maintain interior surfaces, failure to properly maintain plumbing, electrical system hazards, failure to eliminate pests and compromised fire resistance assemblies.

In addition to its structural deficiencies, the Executive Inn is prone to “higher than normal” police activity, according to Rock Hill police spokesman Mark Bollinger. From Oct. 1, 2013, until Oct. 1 of this year, police responded to 452 calls at the property. Most were “nuisance calls.”

Records show that during the last five years, the most common crimes reported at the Executive Inn were cases involving simple assault and drugs.

A similar property was torn down several years ago, Quinn said. In 2006, the city tore down the Red Coach Inn, a motel on East Main Street that was a frequent location of criminal activity. Development plans for that site fell through and the lot is still vacant.

Even though the building was condemned, Patel is still responsible for making the repairs. If Patel does not, the city could take legal action to take a out a lien against the building and property to finance the repairs.

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