MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A public nuisance – that’s what Memphis leaders are calling the Peppertree Apartments in Whitehaven.
This means, for the time being, no new residents can move in and current residents also cannot renew their leases.
Tenants said Tuesday’s announcement wasn’t a complete surprise, but they were blindsided because management didn’t tell them in advance.
“When I had found out about that today, I was like, ‘For real? I can’t believe this’,” said Benautica Lee.
Lee said she’s lived at the complex for about three years, and she doesn’t let her daughter play outside alone because of how unsafe it is.
She also said she’s had issues with maintenance and mice.
“When I first moved over here, my heat wasn’t working and it was real cold. Real cold. They didn’t come to fix it until the summertime,” she said.
Another tenant, who said she was told by apartment management that she would be forced to move out early if caught speaking to the media, said she didn’t know where to turn next.
“I got a light bill, I got kids with needs, and then it’s the holidays. I was not expecting this. I mean, we got Thanksgiving in less than 72 hours,” said the tenant.
She added, “Where are we supposed to go? Because some of us are on fixed incomes, some of us have no income, some of us are waiting on SSI.”
After speaking to the tenants, we decided to make some phone calls. We called district attorney Weirich’s office, Mayor Jim Strickland’s office, as well as both the leasing office and owners of the Peppertree apartments.
We only got a response from Mayor Jim Strickland’s office which said, “The Peppertree Apartment’s tenants are not being evicted. This property is privately owned and the property management company is not renewing the tenant’s lease. The city is working on a plan in collaboration with Housing and Community Development, Memphis Housing Authority, and Shelby County CSA. More information will be released next week.”
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