Tenant Says Her Entire Apartment Building Was Given 48-hour Notice To Move Out

Earlier this week, residents of a 15-story apartment in Newport News, Virginia called “Seaview Apartments” were forced to leave their homes with only 48 hours’ notice. The eviction followed a court order indicating the building was unsafe for residents, per 13 News Now.

Among the listed issues were a nonfunctioning elevator as well as non-compliance with fire code safety. However, there were a host of additional issues with the building. The building owner owes Newport News Water Works $70,000, per WTKR, and residents had previously complained about issues like water in the stairwell being completely ignored by building staff.

In a now-viral series of videos, TikTok user Caviar documents the current state of the building as well as the experience of being kicked out with such short notice. Her first video has over 918,000 views as of Saturday.

By the time Caviar recorded her video, one elevator was working again. However, that posed issues for the around 200 tenants who all had to move out on the same day. Caviar also claims that all of the moving trucks in the area were booked, leaving some residents with little chance to move their belongings and furniture.

Caviar claims that all of this is happening despite many tenants already having paid rent.

“Nine o’clock in the morning tomorrow they’re gonna put locks on the doors,” she says in the video. “That means everybody who couldn’t get a U-Haul truck, we’re just out back. We lose our stuff.”

According to WTKR, there is still a chance the building will be reopened in the coming days or weeks. “When the elevators pass inspection, the condemnation will drop,” they reported, which is why “residents have been instructed to leave their furniture and just take essentials from their apartment.”

It’s not clear how effectively this was communicated to residents. In her video, Caviar explains that she needs to pack up all of her items. Furthermore, WTKR obtained the letter sent to residents of the Seaview Apartments on June 28. The letter makes no mention of taking only essential items, instead it solely notes the required vacation of the building and the available options for tenants seeking accommodations.

In her second video, Caviar documents the chaos on the street, with many residents inviting news crews into the complex to observe the state of the building.

This video also offers a new allegation, that the building’s garbage chute has been clogged for several weeks.

According to WTKR, the owner of the building has been “in and out of court since April,” with “thirteen total criminal charges…filed against the owner in April due to code violations.”

Caviar’s third video details that she and other residents were not aware of this fact.

In this video, she says that while some people have access to housing, others are still seeking accommodation. According to WTKR, the current housing for these residents is being paid for by the state. The owner of the building has not offered to assist in this payment.

While Caviar says she’s been given a hotel room to stay in for a few days, she still needs to find her own housing afterward. “After they give us these days in these hotel rooms, we have to find our own place to go,” she claims.

She also points out the difficulty some of the older tenants in the apartment complex are experiencing due to the building’s vacation.

“You have elderly people that are on oxygen that can’t even get their oxygen,” Caviar says. “Like, they’re kicked out their house. They don’t have nowhere to go. They’re homeless. This is not a game. This is real life.”

On TikTok, some users claimed that the building was required to give them longer notice before kicking them out. While this would be true in some circumstances, as the building was deemed unfit for habitation, the tenants can be removed promptly until the repairs are performed. The building may also be destroyed entirely, per Virginia law.

However, most users simply offered their support.

“I’m sorry this happened,” a commenter shared. “Praying for everyone!”

Many viewers also argued the residents should pursue further legal action.

As one user wrote, “Someone needs to contact an lawyer as well that can get the ball rolling for an lawsuit.”

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