Spring Lake Apartments’ tenants respond to mandatory evacuation notices, ‘I am kind of stressed’

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Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 6:23 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 9:20 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Spring Lake Apartments on Garners Ferry Road offers one-bedroom and three-bedroom housing options, and up to 12 units are in each building.

Last Friday some tenants were told they needed to evacuate because their homes would be demolished.

Red pieces of paper were taped to the door with a message for people living in Spring Lake Apartments Friday, stating a mandatory evacuation was scheduled for Monday, August 22.

A tenant, Kat delivered her third child Friday, and came home from the hospital to this news.

“So, you know, I am kind of stressed. I am in the hospital, and it raised my blood pressure a little bit because how could we have to be evacuated by Monday and how could you be telling us this on a Friday?” Kat said

Kat even says she spent some of her time in the hospital making calls to the complex.

“I am just like, how is this even lawful to give tenants basically a 24-hour notice because the weekend is not a business day. That does not count,” she said.

And, Attorney Jake Moore says it might not be.

“Besides the fact that it’s just no way to do business or treat people like that. I don’t think they can just come in the middle of the month, especially those who are current with their lease,” Attorney Jake Moore said.

Moore also says he would have to see the tenants’ leasing agreements, but typically people are given at least 30 days’ notice before a big change like this.

With no official signature on the notices, many questions are left to be answered. The notice says to address any concerns with the property manager, so when Kat finally was discharged from the hospital, she did just that.

“And they said, they was going to call me back, but they never did,” she said.

The demolition is supposed to be completed by Heritage Construction Inspection Mitigation Services, who could not be reached for comment.

WIS also reached out to Spring Lake Apartments with the same number Kat says she used on Saturday, but the line was disconnected.

Attorney Moore encourages the tenants to seek legal counsel because Kat says she has paid her rent for the month.

“They are at least entitled to stay through the month of August,” Moore said.

According to other tenants the complex will be providing them with $1,000 for relocation, but Kat says she has three children and finding a place to house them all in Columbia is difficult.

“That does nothing for me. We have to pay for movers, we have to pay for application fees, if we get approved. If we don’t that’s more application fees,” she said.

At this time, tenants say they have been given an extension to evacuate for ten more days but have not been told if the demolition will still take place on Monday.

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