Saturday is the deadline for the first group of tenants to move out from Lake Arbor Apartments in west Charlotte, after the New York-based owners announced plans to shut the complex for major renovations.
It's one of Charlotte's largest tenant displacements in recent years, coming at a time when the city is facing a critical shortage of affordable housing.
The owners are offering incentives, including forgiveness of overdue rent and quick return of security deposits if tenants leave quickly.
But the North Carolina Justice Center says many tenants may not be required to move out immediately and is advising them to consult a lawyer before signing anything.
“A landlord’s notice to move out is not the same as a court-ordered eviction,” lawyer Jack Holtzman of the N.C. Justice Center said this week. “Tenants with month-to-month leases have due process rights like all other tenants. That’s why it’s critical for residents to speak to a lawyer before making any decisions.”
Residents in about 50 of the 177 occupied units are being asked to move out now, while the remainder have until the end of the year, according to notices last month from the landlord.
Meanwhile, social service agencies, including Community Link and Crisis Assistance Ministry, are trying to help tenants find new housing, and Community Link says a few have done so already.
The agencies are trying to raise at least $350,000 to help with temporary hotel rooms, moving expenses, security deposits and short-term rental subsidies for some families with very low incomes.