HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Multiple residents of an apartment complex in Hopewell claim they are being forced out of their homes because their landlord failed to pay utility bills to the city. To make matters worse, city officials trying to resolve the issue say the landlord is nowhere to be found.
Code enforcement issued a notice requiring tenants of Landmark Oaks Apartments located on East Broadway Avenue to vacate the property by 12 p.m. Tuesday.
“Why am I being forced out my home when I pay my rent?”
Earlier this month, tenants were told in a letter from city officials that trash pickup wasn’t being paid, but they never actually believed those money problems would actually lead to an eviction notice.
“I just couldn’t believe it. This is the first I’ve heard of this. My water has been cut off because the landlord hasn’t paid the bill. Come on,” resident Felicia Bailey said. “Why am I being forced out my home when I pay my rent?”
Bailey and her neighbors found out that their landlord with Landmark Oaks, LLC wasn’t paying the city for water or trash removal and when no one from the city could get in contact with the owner, the water was shut off. Now, the tenants are paying the price.
“I feel I shouldn’t have to go nowhere no matter what they say because I paid my rent this month. This is my home,” Bailey said.
Now she says the 24-hour eviction notice is just too quick. Like so many of her neighbors, she is going to try and stay as long as possible.
“I’m going to take my chances because I don’t have anywhere to go,” Bailey said.
With the notice, tenants were given information to social services.
City officials say they have made numerous attempts to contact the landlord.
“If the landlord which has collected their rents, which includes these services would pay their bills which are grossly in the arrears, everybody could stay put. Not knowing whether that will happen you can’t allow residents to live in an unsafe environment,” said Hopewell City Manager, Mark Haley.
Some residents say they were concerned about being charged with trespassing, but officials say they do plan to work with tenants until they find housing.
8News reached out to Landmark Oaks LLC. We left messages but have gotten no response.