by Randy Pellis
FULTON, May 13, 2019 — An area home inspector has promised to clean up his troubled Fulton property once the present tenants of the building’s two apartments are out.
Jesse Guyer, owner of J Guyer Home Inspections, said Friday he is well aware of complaints over the condition of his rental property at 372 W. Fourth St. S., and will begin improvements both inside and out once the months-long eviction of his tenants is completed this morning.
“On Monday (May 13) we’re going to gut the whole place and refurbish the whole building,” Guyer said Friday.
Trash strewn across the yard has been an ongoing concern, and to that Guyer said, “Obviously, as soon as we get rid of those tenants, the trash will disappear.”
Remarks made during the public session preceding the last Fulton Common Council meeting echo that opinion. Frank Castiglia, one of Fulton’s representatives to the County Legislature, reminded the council of the house and its problems.
Referring to it as “the dump,” he said, “It’s been bad, but it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse. The only time it’s good is when it’s empty. They don’t put enough garbage cans for the people to use. The garbage is usually all over the place.”
Guyer said he has been written up by the city numerous times for the condition of the house and yard and has paid numerous fines. He claimed the tenants stopped paying rent in August 2018 and blames legal entanglements unique to Oswego County for delaying his ability to fix the place up.
“Oswego County is very difficult evicting people,” he said.”It’s very, very labor intensive, and if you don’t have the right signature on every single line, it literally gets thrown out, and then you have to start over with a whole new 30-day notice and basically from scratch. So, we did that a few times, and that’s why it’s taken so long. Every law heavily favors the tenants, and all along the way, they’re getting more time and more time and more time.”
Though Guyer does plan on refurbishing the apartments, he is open to simply selling the building and says he has someone who is interested in buying it.
“I’m not super happy about having to do this deal, with fixing it up. So, if I can just sell the thing as is, I’d be happy to do that. But if nobody wants to buy it, then I’ll go through the process of fixing it up.”
According to Fulton’s Office of Code Enforcement, Guyer bought the house in October 2017 from William Maroney. Guyer claims to have spent $5,000 remodeling the building prior to any tenants moving in, and he provided photos of that work showing multiple rooms in very good shape.
“I have every intention of having the best housing available,” Guyer said. “I don’t want to have tenants that are destroying the place and causing a ruckus in the area. That’s not my desire. That’s absolutely the last thing I want to have happen. But in this instance, I had two bad tenants move in, and I just couldn’t get them out. That’s literally all it boils down to.”
Guyer intentionally let the rental permit on the property expire in March.
“I delayed the current inspection,” he said, “because I know it’s in bad condition and I don’t want them to look at it right now. I’d rather fix it first, and I told them this, and they were fully understanding what the intent was. Once we get them (the tenants) out, I’m more than happy to have them (the code enforcement inspectors) come in and look at whatever they need to look at, and we’ll fix whatever they want us to fix. But with the whole legal system, I can’t do anything until those tenants are out.”
Guyer couldn’t say how long it might take to refurbish the house. “I won’t know that until I get in there,” he said, “and evaluate what kind of damage is there.”
Guyer’s reputation as a home inspector was obviously important to him.
“I do have other properties,” he said. “I do take good care of my properties, and I try to get the best tenants possible. This particular one, these people duped me getting in.
They all have a sob story, and I gave them a chance. But it ended up biting me in the butt in the end. I know I haven’t done anything wrong other than give these people a chance.”