City wants notorious housing violator to pay $3 million

by: David Ham Updated:

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SEATTLE, Wash. —

The Seattle City Attorney's Office said it will "get creative" to try and collect money owed from housing violations and court fees from 87-year-old Hugh Sisley.

A spokesperson for the City Attorney's office said that Sisley’s cases are egregious, in that it’s a pattern of neglect of rental properties followed by refusal to meet city code leading to years of litigation.

Sisley owns about 50 properties in the Roosevelt neighborhood.

"Hugh is the bane of this neighborhood's existence.  He has really bad properties and he doesn't take care of them," said Stephanie Gilbert, who lives near some of the dilapidated homes on 15th and 65th streets.

Many of his properties are group homes rented out by college students.

Sisley has been in a legal battle with the city for about five years over judgments against Sisley and his wife from housing violations.

The city was awarded judgments starting in 2009 for violating the city's housing and zoning code.

The city was also awarded a judgment in 2013 for the Sisley's violating the City's Tenant Relocation Assistance Code, where low-income tenants are provided proper notice of the need to vacate and offered financial assistance for relocation.

A spokesperson for the Department of Planning and Development added that the most recent case against Sisley was for non-payment of tenant relocation assistance. That case went to trial in early December 2013 and the court ruled in the city’s favor on Dec. 18.

The city estimates the couple owes about $3 million if all of the fees and court costs are collected.

Because Sisley has been appealing the judgments the city has not been able to collect.

However, a spokesperson for the city attorney's office said attorneys plan to get more aggressive in exploring different options to collect. She added that foreclosing on properties, enforcing collections, and tacking on liens are all options the city could enforce.

 No one came to the door when we tried asking Sisley about the violations and the fines at his house.

 His attorney Jeff Grant said that he was unavailable for comment.