JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -- A renovation plan for an old Kansas City apartment complex now has residents scrambling for a place to live next year.
“I feel like I’ve been blindsided,” says current tenant Emily Keizer.
Keizer is one of many tenants at the Alps Apartments in Kansas City who will now be looking for a new place to live.
“There are a lot of elderly tenants in this building and now they are forced to find housing that they can afford in a city that is becoming increasingly difficult,” says Keizer.
Based on a letter recently sent out by the complex management and the property management Del Properties, the group is looking to renovate.
The work includes replacing 100-year-old water supply lines and drain lines.
Those are projects that management says will make the building uninhabitable for around 10 to 14 months.
“It would have been a lot nicer if we would have had more time in advance to kind of figure this out. It’s not exactly a great time of year to move,” says current tenant Jeff Larison.
The complex is giving the tenants until Jan. 31 of next year to be moved out, which is just over two months away.
The property owner Del Hedgepath didn’t want to be interviewed but told us that, based on the lease and by law, he could’ve made tenants leave earlier.
He says he was trying to be considerate and residents should be appreciative, but many tenants believe they are being mistreated.
Some are even seeking help from the affordable housing group KC Tenants.
“Pretty atrocious behavior from our perspective, especially in the middle of a global pandemic when many people have lost work, are probably struggling to pay rent, are certainly going to struggle to find deposit money to move in the middle of a midwestern winter in January. So, all of this is really poor form even if it might be legal,” says KC Tenants Director Tara Raghuveer.
Del says they’ve been planning this renovation for years and believes it’s important to get this work done now, in order to prevent tenants from having to deal with the building’s issues for another winter.
“Be more open with people about renovations and the state of your property. Don’t have people sign leases and then have those leases pretty much let go a few months after it happens. Again, it’s a tough time right now and it’s really going to hurt some people,” says Larison.
The property owner is encouraging the old tenants to come back once the work is done but warns that the rent will most likely be higher when they come back.