Fort Worth

Fort Worth Apartment Tenants on Notice to Vacate for Winter Storm Repairs; Rights & Relief Tips Available

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It has been six weeks since the February storm which led to thousands of bursting pipes, displacing families across North Texas.

And even now, residents are still being impacted by the damage left behind.

Some Fort Worth apartment residents are being asked to leave their homes so that repairs can be made.

Texas Sky Ranger flew over the Bellevue Chase Apartments in West Fort Worth on Wednesday, showing visible damage to some buildings.

Approximately 40 residents have been put on notice to vacate in seven days, according to the city of Fort Worth.

“They put a letter on my door, and it says that I had to be out of the apartments,” said Delene Johnson.

NBC 5 first interviewed Johnson a week after the winter storm.

She, along with her neighbors, suffered power and water outages as well as bursting pipes.

In the weeks since the storm, Johnson claims running water, particularly cold, was unreliable.

She was happy to leave.

“If you seen the mold that was in that apartment, it wasn’t live-able. The city code told me that,” she said.

Attorney Eric Cedillo says, generally, apartment management can give as little as three days-notice to vacate.

However, “if people have been living there all along, they would have to do more than provide notice. They would have to actually file paperwork with the JP Court and get an eviction order,” he said.

It is rare for landlords to be required to provide financial assistance or be required to help affected tenants find a new home.

Renters should look closely at their rental agreement.

“Generally, under the property code, which is statutory, they don’t have that obligation, so you look to the lease,” said Cedillo.

Fort Worth’s Neighborhood Services Department assistant director says the city is working with the landlord and stresses there is immediate and long-term help available for affected residents.

“If their tenants need emergency hotel voucher, we can provide them with that if they meet our income guidelines,” said Sonia Singleton, assistant director of the city’s Neighborhood Services Department. “We also have a lot of emergency rental assistance in our city right now and in our county.”

The city’s Disaster Assistance Program can assist income-eligible Fort Worth and Tarrant area residents with hotel vouchers, security deposits and rent. Click here for more information.

There is also available money through the city's Emergency Rental Assistance program, said Singleton.

Johnson says she’s fortunate to have found a new home about two weeks ago, but she worries about those with no place to go.

“I worry about those people,” she said.

Apartment management personnel told NBC 5 to contact their corporate office with any questions.

No one has responded, despite several attempts to contact a representative.

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