’We are going to be homeless’: Concerns raised over Huntsville apartment complex eviction notices

Concerns raised over Huntsville apartment complex eviction notices

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - One day after a Huntsville apartment complex issues a seven-day eviction notice, management sends out new notices giving them the legal 30 days.

Multiple people reached out to our newsroom looking for help because the letter was “abrupt and threatening.”

“The actual letter they gave us said they wanted us out today, meaning yesterday, and if you weren’t out in seven days they would get law enforcement to put us out," said one resident.

Huntsville police called the letter a “bully tactic” and not department policy. Lt. Michael Johnson, department spokesman, says they only get involved with evictions is if there are current building code violations that are unsafe for those living in the apartment. Generally, officers leave eviction to the court.

“We have no where else to go other than we are going to be homeless," said resident Donnovan Hope.

Wednesday, a day after the initial letters were posted, each tenant was given a new notice removing HPD from the text and giving them that 30 days.

Many residents were living in the complex without a formal lease. In most cases, the previous owner would either refuse one or suggest they continue without one.

“I had actually asked the previous owner if he would give me a lease. He said that I didn’t need one because he realized that I had been here such a long time," said one resident who asked to not be identified.

Signing a formal lease gives tenants security and safety, according to representatives with Legal Services of Alabama. Due to the fact that most did not have a lease on the books, a one-month notice is all that needed to be issued.

WAFF 48 News learned the complex is under new ownership who has different plants moving forward. We reached out to the previous owner, but have not heard back.

Additionally, WAFF 48 has learned city, fire and police officials may be at the property as early as Thursday to look for possible building code violations.

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