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Southeast Austin Apartment Complex Residents Forced To Move For Renovations
As Austin grows older, more apartment complexes are forcing tenants out to renovate.
Alanna Reed, a spokesperson for the city's code compliance department, says older buildings with code compliance issues are being fined. And when the owners can't pay they sell the property, putting tenants on the street.
"Those had once been affordable housing. They are now being bought, remodeled," Reed said.
KEYE TV found out this is happening to residents at the Las Palmas Apartments on 2409 Town Lake Circle.
Back in October the building buckled, forcing the evacuation of 50 residents. Now people still living there are being given notices to vacate.
Jose Jimenez's lease just ended and he tells us he asked to renew it, but was given a 30 day notice to move out instead. He speaks Spanish so we translated the interview.
"I think they should give us more time so we can move," said Jimenez.
He tells us his neighbors are frustrated and stressed looking for new places. "Some people had eight days until their lease expired and they told them they had to move when their lease was up."
Reed says this is a growing trend the code compliance department is seeing when getting buildings to comply.
"Now that they have sold that property, we have to reissue notice of violations to the new owner so they can make all the necessary repairs," said Reed.
We talked to the new management, Roscoe Properties. Spokesperson Angelique Goodnough says they will start fixing the empty units first during the renovation. Remaining tenants with valid leases, she says, will be refunded their security deposit and assisted with moving.
Jimenez who didn't have that choice says it's simply wrong. "I think that's wrong, it's the wrong thing to do," he said.
According to the Austin Tenants Council, apartments with new management must fulfill current leases. Those with expired leases are still able to get security deposits as long as residents followed the lease requirements.
Next month community groups are suggesting an emergency plan for tenants who are displaced by code violations. That way the city will have a proposed plan when it comes to unsafe building and tenant rights.
By Christie Post