Fayette County tenants advocate for more rights

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 18:27:51-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Several organizations and tenants held a press conference today urging council members to pass legislation to protect renters.

They held the conference outside the Veridian Apartment Complex, the center of several complaints from residents.

Tenant Michael Richardson said December's severe weather caused water damage so bad to his apartment that it's been damp, moldy and falling apart ever since.

"You almost feel subhuman. Like there was zero communication from anyone except some maintenance men I knew. But I still haven't received any emails, any updates," said Richardson.

But he did receive a letter from management giving him 14 days to vacate his apartment.

Loralyn McBrayer also got a letter.

"My apartment is apparently too damaged to fix while I'm in it, so I've been given 14 days to vacate even though I have already paid the entire month's rent, even though my apartment has been unlivable," she explained.

Issues like this are why organizations like Kentucky Tenants are pushing for the urban county council to pass the Tenant Bill of Rights legislation that would give Fayette County residents access to better resources when facing eviction.

One of the parts of the bill is the 'Right to Council Project' which will give Fayette County tenants facing eviction access to a lawyer to advise them of their rights and help them through the legal process.

"Housing is a human right. And everyone should have access to council whether they make a little bit of money or a lot of money," said housing justice attorney Stefanie Kingsley.

The Tenant Bill of Rights is still in committee, but organizers are hoping the council will have its first hearing sometime in February.