BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - An entire apartment complex is being told they have to vacate their units in the very near future.
Managers at Metropolitan Apartments in the Lakeview area of Birmingham sent out notices to residents last Friday telling them they had to be out by June 24th. That’s only a 10 day notice.
The apartment complex said if they couldn’t complete the move by then, they could leave their belongings till July 8th.
Part of the building sustained some damage from a fire last September, and now the management is saying more “supplemental work” needs to be done in all units.
In the letter to residents, the company says some of the repairs could result in airborne contamination.
“As the owners of the Metropolitan Apartments, we were advised this week that additional extensive remediation may be required in both occupied and unoccupied units. We learned about the problem only days ago, we immediately took action to figure out a plan to assist our residents. We are asking all residents to move out so we can complete the necessary work. This issue is out of our control but we know swift action best ensures the safety of our residents. We intend to do our best to work with our residents during this time and ensure safety. We deeply regret the inconvenience,” said the management company, Maxus Properties in a statement to the media.
The complex is offering residents $2,000 for the inconvenience and refunding part of the month’s rent.
Monday, residents had an informal meeting with the management company.
The meeting got heated at times as residents demanded answers about several things including why they were not told sooner.
The company says they did not know there was a problem until they got a report back from the insurance company just a few weeks ago.
"That's their cop out right now. They are saying they just got the report from the insurance company. When a huge fire happens in downtown Birmingham, when this goes on, why didn't you hire your own air quality people? Structural engineers? And right then? That was September 2018," said Chris Bell, resident.
“They say that they are very apologetic. I’d like see one of those ladies in there move out of their house at a moment’s notice for only two thousand dollars, and a refund of their month’s mortgage," said Chris Keith, resident.
So what are your rights as a renter in this situation?
Most of the times whatever is in your lease is the determining factor.
However, at least one attorney says when you bring in safety concerns that adds another layer of consideration.
"10 Days is quick. You could try and negotiate to get more time, or if they have to, go through the court. It (court) will take a lot longer than that," said Birmingham Attorney Martin Weinberg.
Weinberg advises people in this situation to get a consultation from an attorney. Many residents said they are already speaking to one.