Tenants served with an eviction notice days after Ida; with nowhere else to go

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Some renters at the Saulet Apartments in New Orleans say property managers are trying to evict them in a matter of days following Hurricane Ida with no other options and nowhere else to go.

After filing a cease-and-desist notice against the property, one attorney says these renters do have rights.

Having newly moved into the Saulet Apartments on Annunciation street, Kaiya Wilkes says she wasn’t going to risk riding out hurricane Ida there. She evacuated and returned to find some ceiling damage and mold.

“Obviously I can’t live there with the mold so I picked up what I could,” said Wilkes.

She left again hoping she could come back after repairs so she could finish her degree.

That is until she read an eviction email from the complex sent on Friday, September 10 saying she had to be out within five days, September 15, or risk losing all of her belongings.

“I wasn’t given an option I was just kicked out. They knew about the damage in my apartment a lot longer than before Friday because I was there on Sunday, and there were maintenance people in my apartment already and they hadn’t even contacted me saying there had been damage in the apartment. I don’t feel like I should have to pay to move because of something that wasn’t my fault, and I especially shouldn’t have to be on a time crunch for it,” said Wilkes.

“Big companies with a lot of monies usually easily push people around so there are laws to prevent this kind of a moral illegal possibly unethical conduct,” said attorney Kenneth Bordes.

Three residents with the same eviction notice are trying to stay in their apartments.

Attorney Kenneth Bordes filed a cease and desist letter on their behalf.

He says the complex is claiming damages are storm-related, but says these residents filed work orders for the same damages months before.

Not only that, but he says the lease agreement clause the complex claims to give them the right to evict doesn’t even exist.

“It’d be nice to know why someone is trying to terminate your legal lease that you have a legal right to it’s out of contract that is enforceable that they cannot breach so if they’re going to do that explain where 26.5 is in the lease,” said Bordes.

With phone calls, emails, messages, and faxes unanswered, Bordes reminds Louisiana renters the governor extended the eviction moratorium following Ida.

“If they wanna disturb your peaceful possession that’s on them and they’re going to have to answer for that, you have a right to a place that is your property no one can be evicted right now per the governor’s order,” said Bordes.

For Wilkes who just wants to finish her degree in a safe and healthy apartment, she fears that the future is also now in limbo.

“We just went through a hurricane and to be evicted right after a natural disaster is very upsetting,” said Wilkes.

Bordes says per his conversations possibly hundreds of tenants could be facing the same eviction notice.

We reached out and left messages with the property manager, Tonya Hingle but have not yet heard back.

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