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Judge rules tenants must vacate Marshall apartment complex

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A state district court judge says tenants of a 100 unit Marshall apartment complex must move out of the buildings because of problems with the heating system. 

The owners of the units, Suite Liv'n, told renters in September they'd have to leave their apartments in the southwest Minnesota city for several months.

The tenants filed suit to block the action.  But district court judge Tricia Zimmer upheld the move order, citing serious problems with the buildings' boilers.  A heating specialist testified about 'serious safety concerns' due to defective exhaust systems and poor wiring. 

The judge said the owners must fix the heating problems within six months.  The judge also ordered the company to reimburse rent payments made in late September and October.

Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes says city officials and private businesses hope to find new living quarters for the residents.

"I wish I could say that everyone has identified a place to relocate," said Byrnes. "That's simply's not the case now and will continue to be a challenge that as a community we all need to work on."

The company that owns the buildings discovered the heating problems after purchasing the complex this year.  The owners ordered residents to leave the buildings in September, but they But a heating specialist told the judge defective exhaust components and poor wiring in the buildings' boilers pose serious safety concerns.