Fire forced a Las Vegas valley couple out of their apartment. Their landlord made them an offer: Pay more for another place or get out. And now that couple is smoldering.
The fire broke late last month at Capri Apartments, smoke, wafting from the ground, sending Jamie Jones and her fiancee Joe Hanash scrambling. "All the smoke started billowing in. It just destroyed all of our property," Jones said.
The damage was so bad they had to move out. "We were displaced. We were pretty much thrown out of our apartment," Hanash said. “The smoke damage was horrible. Everything is covered in soot."
Jones and Hanash still had four months on their lease. "They said it's uninhabitable and you need to find another place to live, or we'll give a new lease somewhere else," Jones said.
They tell 13 Action News a contractor accidentally set the fire with a blow torch. Management offered to terminate the couple’s lease and put them in another unit in the same complex. "They wanted to put us in another place and charge us $160 something a month extra," Jones said.
Their rent was $907. Rent for the new unit was $1071.
"I didn't like that,” said Hanash. "I'm very upset," said Jones.
Thirteen Action News went to the management office, but the people working there would not answer our questions.
According to the civil law self-help center, a landlord can terminate a lease if a property is damaged or destroyed by fire. The tenant can break the lease as well.
"They ended up locking us out. They changed the locks on there and told us we can't access it without their permission," Hanash said. “They voided our lease.”