FLORENCE, Ala. – Dozens of people in a Lauderdale County apartment complex were served with an eviction notice and could possibly be forced out in the middle of the holiday season.
The families, some disabled and some with some children, received a termination notice at the Regency Arms Apartments on Dec. 13 but for the past several months they all have complained of a rat infestation and constant flooding issues.
Based on the timing of the letter tenants are questioning its validity.
“It’s crazy. It’s an everyday thing. We come home, when we wake up, there’s rat feces everywhere,” tenant Cody Vibbard said about the rats.
Rats and water damage are just a couple of complaints from tenants. After months of complaining to the property manager, nothing was done.
“I’ve reached out to the building inspector and the health department because it’s just out of control,” Vibbard said.
Residents reached out to the landlord. The landlord’s answer was a notice to vacate the apartment by January 12, 2022.
Jonna Tinnon, a disabled grandmother, says the response is beyond belief and she has no place to go.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s the holiday and then we have two weeks after the holiday in the middle of the month and it’s nearly impossible. I just don’t feel like it’s fair at all,” she said.
The tenants said there is nowhere in the lease that says the landlord can evict without notice. According to Alabama eviction law, a landlord must have legal cause to evict. If not, then the landlord must wait until the lease is over.
“We feel like they should at least help us cover some of the costs of moving or give us the deposit back. As I know so far, they don’t plan on doing anything like that,” Vibbard said.
Tenant Nepatinni Wallace-Lyle, who’s been living in the complex for three months says, “It states on their website pests are controlled by rats or something that you don’t bring in. I didn’t bring this in with me so why should I have to control something that’s already in the wall.”
The property’s owner is listed as USC Properties. They listed an apartment vacancy a week ago on the companies Facebook page.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is not aware of the vacate notice.