Renters scramble after given 30 days to move out

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Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 19:56:24-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington renters at the Red Mile Square Townhomes are on the hunt for a place to live tonight after getting a late notice to vacate.

It's the middle of a pandemic, she's quarantined and Rhonda Wright was starting to pack up her things on Wednesday.

She got a 30-day notice of termination of tenancy on Saturday.

"All it says is your renewal is coming up, and we are not renewing the lease, and I have 30 days to vacate," said Wright. "My daughter came in with it when she got home from work, and she said, 'Mom, we got to go'. Just like that."

Wright says they don't have any place to go. The notice was unexpected and being quarantined means they can't physically leave the house to search.

"We're going to have to put our stuff in storage. Hotel again, I guess," said Wright.

Wright is a part of the housing choice voucher program, Section 8. So are her neighbors Tiya Lear and Taryn Jennings, who got the same notices. They all say they were up to date on their rent.

"I have six kids of my own and they told me if I couldn't find anything in 30 days that I would have to go to the salvation army or go live with friends, family, whoever," said Jennings. "I have looked places, like I said, I've looked all over Lexington. I've looked in Richmond, Nicholasville-there is just nothing at this time for us to move. This is a horrible time to move. This is COVID, like there's nobody moving. Everybody is staying where they're at."

Lear says it's all difficult to process.

"It's overwhelming because it's last minute and we don't really have a lot of time to try to find anything," said Lear. "If they could at least give us like more time to find something and not just like 30 days that would help."

LEX 18 got a hold of the property manager who didn't want to go on camera but said it hasn't been an easy year for him financially. Specifically, because of the pandemic. Non-payment of rent and the eviction moratorium took its toll, leaving him no other option but to liquidate the property.

"I understand that because we're all going through something because of the pandemic or whatever but I still feel like, I mean, what about us," asked Lear.

The Lexington Fair Housing Council says legally, landlords don't have to give a reason for non-renewal. However, if tenants absolutely can't be out by the requested date, they can leave before an eviction court date is set and further action is taken.

"At the end of those 30 days if the tenant isn't out, the landlord can file for eviction in court. So, at that time, the tenant would receive a notice from the courthouse that says, 'hey you have a court date on this day'. As long as a tenant is out by that court date, then the eviction will be dismissed," said Shay Lamarr, Program Coordinator.

Lamarr says landlords are not required by law to provide a reason for non-renewal.

Still, the tenants are frustrated that they must deal with this in the first place.

"Why should all these families and children and grandchildren have to suffer because you didn't plan this right or whatever have you. It's just not right," said Wright.

Here are resources for Lexington Residents:

Tiya Lear's GoFundMe.

Taryn Jennings GoFundMe.