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Tenants asked 13 Action News to investigate after asked to sign waiver to get belongings after fire

Fire happened last Wednesday
Posted at 5:10 PM, May 22, 2017

People at a Las Vegas apartment complex say they are not being given enough time to move out after a fire.

Last week's early morning fire left people running out of the Villas at Desert Pointe apartments, near Swenson Street and Twain Avenue, in their pajamas. More than five days later people say they are still struggling to get their belongings.

"I came back to get my stuff and they said I couldn't get any of my stuff until I signed a waiver," said Susan Ingle, who said she just moved in two months ago.

She said management would not let her back into her unit until she signed a waiver, and then only gave her 24 hours to clear out her unit.

"This is my stuff, I paid for this apartment, you can't hold me hostage and you can't hold my stuff hostage," said Ingle.

Kurt Blanchard said he went for days without access to his stuff.

"It makes me feel like I've been victimized by the people I've been paying rent to on the first every month for five years," said Blanchard.

He said he was only let back in with a signed waiver.

"We're not treated like people, we're treated like a liability problem," Blanchard said.

13 Action News talked with a lawyer who is an expert on landlord-tenant disputes. She said landlords have to keep your things for 30 days and give you "reasonable opportunity and access" to go get them. She also said no one should have to sign anything in order to get their stuff.

We called Westland Real Estate Group, who manages the complex. They said they are asking everyone to sign a liability waiver to get back in because there is no electricity and it's very dark.

They are asking tenants to make appointments to get their things, but will give them as many appointments as they need. But they did say there could be a miscommunication between management on site and the tenants.

They also said every tenant should get $500 to help defer moving costs, which Ingle said they would not give her unless she signed a waiver.

The Clark County Fire Department said the cause of the fire is still unknown.