City Takes Action Against 'Negligent Landlord'

Officials Hope Move Spurs Community Effort

Indianapolis officials on Monday announced a 50-count complaint against a man they labeled a negligent landlord who is letting his properties waste away.

Mayor Greg Ballard and others spoke at a news conference on Monday morning, laying out their case against Peter Kisenko, whose rental properties have been associated with multiple code violations and police activity for several years. The Department of Code Enforcement, Health and Hospital Corp., and the City Prosecutor's Office.

Court documents and public records list numerous allegations against Kisenko, prompting officials and church members to step forward in search of change, 6News' Julie Pursley reported.

Officials spoke in front of a home on Denny Street, in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood.

"Some of these home are rat- and roach-infested. They have lead paint. The roofs are caving in," said Helen Marchal, of the Indianapolis Prosecutor's Office.

The city is relying on a public nuisance law to go after Kisenko and other landlords it thinks are not fulfilling obligations.

Indianapolis officials hope to collect fines and get reimbursed for costs associated with inspections. They also hope a public outcry will get results for renters who have complained.

"We have single mothers. We have non-English-speaking folks," Marchal said. "We have people that I believe Kisenko is taking advantage of."

"We want landlords to be responsible. If they own the property and are renting to people, especially those who cannot help themselves, we want the landlord to take care of that property," Ballard said.

People who live and attend church in the neighborhood said they are tired of looking at abandoned and poorly kept homes.

"We want to be able to come in and help build up the neighborhood," said the Rev. Michael Fondren, of the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church. "We want businesses in the neighborhood. We want responsible landlords in the neighborhood."

Fondren said he hopes others in the community will join the effort to improve the neighborhood for future generations.

The church near 30th Street and Sherman Avenue will hold a meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the issue.

6News tried to contact Kisenko but was unable to reach him.