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I think my apartment building may be condemned soon.... what are my tenant rights....

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liberalitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-07 10:47 AM
Original message
I think my apartment building may be condemned soon.... what are my tenant rights....
I wasn't planning on budgeting in a move until next year.
I live in Norfolk, Va.
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-07 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. There's a lot of information at this link
And a bunch of other links and phone numbers as well.

http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/family/354-066/354-066.html
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-07 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. You should consult a legal advice line or clinic.
If the property is condemned and not fit for habitation, then you may have an action against the landlord. But it depends on state law. Some states are archaic about that sort of thing.

Here are some Landlord-Tenant links -

http://www.hud.gov/local/va/renting/tenantrights.cfm
http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/consumers/f-landlord.shtm...

Virginia State Bar Lawyer Referral Service
Virginia State Bar
707 East Main Street, Suite 1500
Richmond, VA 23219
800.552.7977 or 804.775.0808

Virginia Legal Aid Society
513 Church Street
Lynchburg, VA 24503
434.528.4722 or toll-free: 1.866.534.5243

Virginia Supreme Court - General District Court finder
Supreme Court of Virginia
Office of the Executive Secretary
100 North Ninth Street, Third Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
804.786.6455

Virginia Fair Housing Office
3600 West Broad Street, 5th floor
Richmond, VA 23230
888.551.3247 or 804.367.8530

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-07 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. I had an apartment condemned on me once.
It was very sudden. One day we were told there was a mandatory meeting that evening (making me feel like I was in high school). The mayor showed up to kick us out personally. The whole complex had been built on a landfill, and methane was building up inside the structures, so they condemned the whole complex. The people on the ground floors were given four days to move out, and those on higher floors were given seven. This was in a town notoriously short of affordable housing, at a time when the largest university in the country (UT Austin) was about to start classes, so all the students were moving in.

Our rights apparently, were to move out when we were told, and to smile about it if we wanted to. Many people wound up moving in with family, or even moving out of state, because the rates had been a tad lower than market, and many people couldn't afford the higher rents. Some just flat-out couldn't find vacant apartments, either.

Ultimately, it turned out that the landlord had known of the methane problem for two years, and that the city had told him to keep residents informed about the situation as it progressed. The fire department held regular inspections, and the landlord was supposed to keep us informed of the inspections, too. Instead, the landlord lied about the inspections, claiming they were fire extingisher checks, and other stuff. They were so negligent that they had signed a lease the morning of the evictions, even knowing that the complex would be closed. That gave us grounds for a class action suit, which was won easily. When the landlord appealed, the appeals court raised the punitive damages higher than the first court, so the landlord gave up and paid.

If the landlord had not been lying, I don't think we'd have had any rights. This is Texas, I don't know how other states are.
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electricmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-07 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. Getting kicked out of my place too
The landlord defaulted on the mortgage so the building got foreclosed. The bank is kicking me and the people downstairs out. The gas got turned off a week ago and the water is scheduled for disconnection on Tuesday. We're going to pay the past due amount on the water bill so at least we'll have running water until we can get out. This was the second place in a row that that's happened to me. Hopefully it will be the last time since I put in a contract to buy a house. The closing is on July 13 so hopefully the final eviction won't come up before then. I rented a storage space and have been moving all my stuff into it just in case though.

All this talk about foreclosures on the news and they never mention the investors that buy 4 or more houses at once and end up not being able to maintain them all. They always point there finger at the working class folks as being behind the "foreclosure crisis".
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cobalt1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-24-07 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. if the local government is condemning the building, there probably isn't much you can do.
Assuming you been given adequate notice by law, you better start looking for a new place. Florida condemn a number of buildings that were damaged after the hurricane spree a few years ago. Once the buildings condemned, that's it.
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