Tenants in Seattle micro apartments ordered to vacate

SEATTLE — For the tenants who recently moved into the 41-unit Cubix micro apartment complex at 714 N 95th Street near Greenwood, the bright orange signs taped to the front door were a sudden, jarring order to make a home somewhere else.

The stop work order, issued by City of Seattle building inspectors, told tenants to vacate the building immediately, because the building was never given a legal occupancy permit. In fact, according to building inspectors, the building was never even inspected.

On Thursday night, hired movers were still hauling every piece of furniture out of the micro-apartment units. Only a few vacated tenants grabbed what was left.

None of them have any idea when they'll be able to return to a place where some moved in weeks ago.

"Yesterday I started seeing people literally running to their cars because they had to be out," said Will Curran, who lives next door to the new Cubix Micro apartment building, where tenants pay around $800 a month for about 250 square feet of space inside, and no parking spaces outside.

City of Seattle building inspectors tell KIRO-7 the 41 unit building was "never finished." One inspector said there are open pits which someone could fall into, and inspectors added there should be ladders to evacuate the pits in a fire.

Inspectors said they would not inspect the building until every piece of tenants' belongings were moved out and a list of building improvements is finished.

The developer of the Cubix micro apartment building sent KIRO-7 this response:

"We are actively working with all tenants to minimize the effects of this unfortunate situation. We are providing hotels and working hard to resolve the situation. We are committed to returning tenants to their apartments as soon as possible and we intend to compensate every one for this issue."

Curran says in the city's haste to solve the housing crunch, development has happened too fast. "I just don't feel the city has worked with developers to do it the right way," he said.

Seattle building inspectors told KIRO-7 both the city and tenants have legal options, which are still being explored.