TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — People living at a Tampa apartment complex are feeling the pressure.
Tenants at Holly Court apartments protested Thursday what they call unfair evictions. They told 8 On Your Side they’ve been given less than two weeks to move out.
Shakeila Broughton is in jeopardy of losing a place she’s called home for the last two years. She lives at Holly Court apartments with her two young children. She says recently, her landlord came to her house and told her she had to leave by Jan. 31.
Broughton says the landlord told her it was because the water at the complex was harmful.
“That’s not a good reason, if you’re going to tell us to leave house us somewhere if it’s that bad,” Broughton said. “Some people have nowhere to go, some do, some don’t and I have nowhere to go.”
She’s not alone. Her neighbors got the same news, same exit date and a non-renewal notice.
On Thursday, several tenants stood across the street from the complex, sending a message to the property owner, they belong in their homes. Joining them was the Tampa Tenants Union.
Union members tell 8 On Your Side rent has gone up the last couple of years. The Zumper Tampa Metro Area Report shows rent in Tampa is up almost 40% compared to last January.
Bratton Young says because of Florida law, property companies are not required to give a reason why they’re not renewing someone’s lease or giving a notice to vacate.
“It’s a trend of developers coming through and eliminating affordable housing and displacing working-class residents,” Young said. “Where are working people supposed to go if this city becomes too expensive to live.”
Many like Broughton say they’re not giving up. They’re preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.
“We have nowhere to go, it’s too soon to go somewhere, and rent is going up, where you going to go,” Broughton asked.
Palm Communities LLC owns the apartment complex. They did not return 8 On Your Side’s request for comment.
Union members say Tampa City Council will discuss the possibility of a rent stabilization ordinance during a workshop next month.