Fix it or lose it: City of Milwaukee threatens lawsuit against landlord Elijah Mohammad Rashaed

MILWAUKEE -- Fix it or lose it — that is the ultimatum given to Milwaukee landlord with over 1,000 current building code violations. The City of Milwaukee has threatened a lawsuit against Elijah Mohammad Rashaed alleging he has used multiple legal entities to maintain a public nuisance while avoiding legal duties.

Rashaed leaves small claims court after a judge denies his motion to reopen a case.

Rashaed leaves small claims court after a judge denies his motion to reopen a case.

The city has served a notice of intent to file an application for appointment of a receiver upon Rashaed and legal entities he controls.

This includes:

  • Complying with building code requirements
  • Adequately managing residential rental property
  • Paying debts and judgments
  • Complying with administrative regulations regarding residential rental practices

"It was nothing but a house of roaches," said Yvonne Morehouse-Starks, renter.

Dreams of a new place to live were quickly squashed for Yvonne Morehouse-Starks and her family.home

home2

"Dirty carpet, a couch left, table, a mattress and a dead baby mouse," said Morehouse-Starks.

Yvonne Morehouse-Starks

Yvonne Morehouse-Starks

Morehouse-Starks says she put down a $600 security deposit to rent a home starting March 1st, near 6th and Keefe, and signed a lease. But when she went inside, it wasn't what she expected.

The city says the property is one of 176 either owned or controlled by Rashaed. This isn’t the first time Rashaed has been under fire. Back in 2014, FOX6 Investigators dug deeper into the well-known Milwaukee landlord, who also goes by Elijah Rashaed, Elijah Mohammad, Mohammad Ross, and Mohammed Rashada.

When FOX6 Investigator Bryan Polcyn attempted to speak with Rashaed, the landlord shoved him out the door of his office without a word.

When FOX6 Investigator Bryan Polcyn attempted to speak with Rashaed, the landlord shoved him out the door of his office without a word.

In 2013, a balcony collapsed on one of Rashaed’s buildings, and a man fell four stories.

In October of 2014, Rashaed and his companies owned more than 200 rental properties in Milwaukee. Many of them are what city officials call distressed real estate. A FOX6 investigation found those buildings tallied more than 10,000 code violations since 2009. And as of September 2014, more than a thousand of the violations were listed as “unabated” — meaning they still weren’t fixed.

Fall of 2013, a balcony collapsed on one of Rashaed's buildings and a man fell four stories.

In 2013, a balcony collapsed at one of Rashaed's properties and a worker fell four stories. The worker was injured, but survived the fall.

In 2013, a balcony collapsed at one of Rashaed's properties and a worker fell four stories. The worker was injured, but survived the fall.

In May of 2014, FOX6 News found mushrooms literally growing in the hallways of another building.

In May, FOX 6 News and city inspectors found mushrooms growing in a common area hallway in one of Rashaed's properties.

In May, FOX 6 News and city inspectors found mushrooms growing in a common area hallway in one of Rashaed's properties.

Rashaed has now made the news once again.

"After 60 days, if he doesn't fix nuisance conditions that occur, have occurred at his property. the city will file an application for receivership," said Assistant City Attorney, Kail Decker.

The Office of the City Attorney claims Rashaed controls what it calls nuisance properties and has avoided legal duties to correct them.

"The city has observed about 15,000 code violations," said Decker.

If he doesn't correct the violations by mid to early May, control of the properties would be handed over to a third party.

"He wouldn't be able to take in any rent, he wouldn't be able to have contact with tenants, wouldn't be able to control anything regarding those properties," said Decker.

Morehouse-Starks says she feels wronged by Rashaed, and she's hoping the city can help others like her.

"We just want our security deposit back," said Morehouse-Starks.

Again, Rashaed has 60 days to meet the city’s demands, and clear up all the alleged nuisance conditions or the city will take him to court.

Anyone with information regarding the past or current property ownership or management practices of Rashaed or his entities/associates is encouraged to call the City’s Attorney’s Office at 414-286-2601.

The city has served a notice of intent to file an application for appointment of a receiver upon Rashaed and legal entities he controls.

4 comments

  • Requesting accountability

    Any bettors out there: my guess city gets rundown properties and ah landlord gets his little – probably appropriate – hands or whatever slapped. Does that help anyone? How about move to attach all of his assets to cover costs of maintaining and improving all properties. Just a thought.

  • Voice of Reason

    Hmm, ghetto trash landlord renting to ghetto trash tenants. They deserve each other. Yeah put down a security deposit on a property you have never seen. Very intelligent!!

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