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Their landlord said they have to leave by the end of the month. Experts disagree.

Their landlord said they have to leave by the end of the month. Experts disagree.
Posted at 8:16 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 07:37:39-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Residents at Grace Place Apartments received a notice on their door on April 29 stating they had to be out of their apartments by May 31.

Residents claimed they were not given any reason as to why they had to be out in such a short time. Several reached out to CBS 6 confused about how they could be put out with no official eviction letter.

“I read it and I was like are you kidding me?” said four-year tenant William Jackson. "To me, it's like they want to throw you out without even talking to you in person or anything."

According to experts at the Virginia Legal Aid Society, tenants at Grace Place do not have to leave their apartments by the end of the month like the notice requested.

The director of litigation at Virginia Legal Aid Society in Richmond, Martin Wegbreit, said per Virginia law, no tenant has to leave just because a landlord says so.

“The notice is only the first of a five-step process. That is followed by the filing of a lawsuit, the landlord then getting a judgment of possession, then getting a writ of eviction, and then the sheriff doing the actual sheriff's eviction.”

Wegbreit also said that Franklin Capital Group, which owns Grace Place apartments, must legally inform the tenants why they are being evicted, but he said the company has yet to do that.

“Second agreement they made, which is legally binding, is that the tenants who live there get to stay as long as they want, as long as there is no good cause for their eviction,” explained Wegbreit. “The whole point of having low-income housing is to provide stable housing for people who can't afford to go elsewhere.”

Residents tell CBS 6 that there is no contact information for Franklin Capital Group on the notice, so they don’t have anywhere to direct their questions.

"I feel that it's unjustified. They need to come out and do what they're supposed to do,” said another resident, Jesse Williams.

Legal Aid Society said they reached out to the property owners Friday and have yet to hear back. CBS 6 Problem Solvers also reached out today and are still waiting to hear back. Previously, Franklin Capital Group told CBS 6 that at least 17 of the 37 Grace Place residents were delinquent on their rent payments.

Any resident that still has questions or would like help from Legal Aid Society can contact their office at (804) 200-6045.