RIPLEY, Tenn. — Hundreds of people living at an apartment complex in Lauderdale County are preparing to be homeless after a notice to vacate was unexpectedly issued on Friday.
Residents received a letter from their property manager, Sherwood Management, saying they had to vacate the premises immediately after the city found the living conditions to pose a risk to health and safety.
“We have nowhere to go,” Tenant Letecia Mcwright said. “We didn’t go to court. We didn’t have a warning. We didn’t get a two-week warning, a month warning. We literally had no idea about this.”
The notice comes a week after a stop work order was issued by the city of Ripley when code enforcement found multiple violations ranging from infrastructure to electrical, which were problems that residents dealt with for years.
“I can’t take a shower. I have built up mold in my shower. I have built up mold in my tub,” a tenant said.
“The bathroom sink been broke, it look like it’s about to walk out and do the stanky leg,” another tenant said. “Baby, I can’t have that.”
The prospect of hundreds of residents being displaced prompted Ripley Mayor Craig Fitzhugh to stop by the complex Saturday afternoon.
“I got a copy of one these last night and believe me, I’m not gonna get into what’s in that letter, but I can tell you there are things that are absolutely wrong in it,” Mayor Fitzhugh said.
Mayor Fitzhugh refuted the claims made by Sherwood Management which suggested that the city is responsible for the notice to vacate.
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“What they want to do is throw y’all out of your apartments. It appears to us there are some vacant apartments that they can re-do and move you over there and move this way,” Mayor Fitzhugh said. “You’re not going anywhere unless you want to.”
WREG has made multiple attempts to reach the property manager and is still waiting to hear back. The mayor tells us that he is committed to resolving this issue.