Danville Apartment Deemed Unfit Forcing 13 Tenants To Leave
Danville, VA -- More than a dozen tenants of a Danville apartment building are looking for new homes Monday after the city condemned their building. They only had 10 days to move out of their apartments on Jefferson Avenue.
There is a three page notice posted all over the apartment listing code violations. It lists everything from unsafe structures and electrical hazards to an infestation problem. Former tenants say it's all accurate.
205 Jefferson Avenue now sits lifeless. Only signs tell the story of what's behind the walls. But just days ago, 13 tenants had to rush to move out.
"If they are paying a fair rent in Danville, they should have livable conditions in their apartments," said Joseph Guzman, tenant.
Guzman called this building his home for 18 months. He says he experienced the violations first hand.
"There was thousands, literally thousands of bugs," says Guzman.
Guzman tells us he saw roaches daily.
"It was horrible, sometimes they would be crawling on my face when I was sleeping," says Guzman.
And it didn't stop there. The code violations list plumbing issues, roof problems, and unsafe structures.
"I could hardly even use the bathroom, much less take a bath or do anything else in there," says Guzman.
Guzman was one of the lucky ones, he was able to gather most of his belongings. But fellow tenant, John Bradberry said he had to go with just the clothes on his back.
"I had to leave it there because of the roach problem," says Bradberry.
Missionary with Grace and Main, Matthew Bailey says many tenants have the same issue.
"Several are in need of clothing, mattresses, linens, towels," says Bailey.
He's been visiting these tenants for years and can't believe they're now left with almost nothing.
"There are also tenants that are very uncertain still where they are going to be," says Bailey.
Those two men have found temporary places to stay.
We spoke to the building owners over the phone Monday and then received a statement. They said that they were having financial struggles because of the economy and are doing the best they can. But they told me that the problems were not as serious as the notice implies and that there is no need to condemn the building.
If you want to help the tenants go to http://graceandmain.org/ or call (434)251-4154.