Local News


Elderly people facing eviction over security door fight

Posted at 6:07 PM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 22:31:15-04

People in a valley apartment complex are locked in a battle with management, and it could end in evictions for some elderly residents.

Marlene Azine and Georgia Bentley wanted security doors because they didn't feel safe in their homes at Sarann Knight Apartments near H Street and Owens Avenue.

Azine says it's a crime-ridden neighborhood.

The ladies didn't like the idea of opening their door to strangers.

"There's really no protection at all," Bentley said. "You just open the door and anyone could walk in ."

Azine says she and others received verbal permission from managers to install security doors with their own money.

Residents say they followed all guidelines that were given including uniform doors and providing management with keys.

For a short while. the doors were a godsend.

"The security door is the only thing we have to give us peace of mind," Azine said.

Then eviction notices came.

Azine showed us a letter of apology from the property manager for reversing course.

"It's frustrating," Azine said. "It's senseless. It makes no sense whatsoever. We're not hurting anybody."

13 Action News spoke to Dora LaGrande, an asset manager with Global Property Management Group, which manages Sarann Knight.

LaGrande says because the company pays utilities for Sarann residents, they can't afford to allow the doors. She says people with security doors tend to leave their front doors open, significantly increasing power bills.

It's an alteration forbidden in Azine's and the others' leases.

LaGrande also asserts the residents are safe.

"We have security on site from 7:30 to 5 in the morning," she said. "The issues have been very minor issues. The property's been open since 2010. We haven't had any issues at that property."

No one's been evicted yet.

Azine says several people have taken down their security doors in fear of eviction. Azine, Bentley and a couple others have left theirs up.

Azine has filed a class-action lawsuit against management on behalf of all the residents.