Apt. investment group's financial troubles bad for Valley tenants

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PHOENIX -- A California outfit that's one of the biggest apartment investors in the Valley is facing serious financial difficulties that could leave employees and residents in a major lurch.

Company is behind on payments

According to property managers in three cities, lenders are beginning to take over the operations of more than a dozen complexes owned by Bethany Group.

Some employees say they have not been paid since January.

Residents say repairs and basic maintenance are not being taken care of. In some cases, there's the threat that utilities could be shut off.

The Coves at Newport at 51st Avenue and Thunderbird Road is just one complex that's affected.

"One of the problems that most of the people have here is getting maintenance work done," said tenant Martin Hollenser. "They're only too glad to take your money every month for your rent, but you don't get anything back in return for it.

"When you go in and complain, they'll promise you this, they'll promise you that. But the work never gets done."

The 13 complexes owned by Bethany Group reportedly are in receivership, which is one of the beginning stages of foreclosure.

One Bethany Group corporate employee who was among many fired last week said tenants will not be forced to move while the complexes are operating in receivership.

One possibility is that lenders will take over the complexes and run them.