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ONLY ON 3: Apartment tenants upset about conditions during renovations

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Some tenants at a Wilmington apartment complex are not happy. They say recent renovations there made it impossible to live, but managers say they tried to make up for the inconvenience any way they could.

One day in May Kristina Wheeler walked into her apartment to find plastic sheets hung everywhere, her things stuffed into corners and almost no room to walk let alone live.

"My apartment was definitely not living conditions," she said.

So the 22-year-old, who works on WWAY's production staff, left her apartment at Campus Walk on Racine Drive and stayed in a hotel that night.

"And that was probably one of the worst moments of the whole process," Wheeler said.

Campus Walk managers say they gave tenants written notice April 30 that renovations would start May 6. Then for about two weeks the crews worked on the apartments.

"For a whole entire week I had to change my schedule," Wheeler said. "I had to go out to different places. I couldn't really make any food, because it was so crazy here."

Most of the time Wheeler says crews came when she least expected them to. Like when she was in the shower.

"It was extremely, extremely frustrating to have just gotten out of the shower, be in my robe and be getting a knock on my door, and I had no prior knowledge that they were going to be coming and doing any work," she siad.

And even during her interview with WWAY, workers showed up with a dishwasher, even though Wheeler already had one.

So fed up Wheeler says she asked Campus Walk managers to pay her hotel bill and to lower the next month's rent.

"The apartment told me that they would do nothing for me," Wheeler said "I was very upset."

Campus Walk managers did not want to speak on camera, but they say they tried to make the project as painless as possible by providing tenants with plenty of notice, giving them a gym membership, hiring an on-site ambassador to deal with problems, keeping rent the same even after the renovations.

While Wheeler has not made a formal complaint to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office, another tenant did asking the complex to let him out of his lease.

In a letter responding to the complaint, a consumer protection specialist wrote: "Because our office cannot force a company to take a specific action, it does not appear that we can be of any further assistance."

And even though Campus Walk followed North Carolina landlord-tenant law, Wheeler says she does not think it was right to make tenants live as they did.

The Attorney General's Office says tenants like Wheeler can contact Legal Aid North Carolina. If they won't take her case, the AG's office suggests she write up a request for reimbursement.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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I experienced this as well,

I experienced this as well, but during the week of my final exams. Workers often knocked and then entered immediately after and they came in at all times of the day. I couldn't shower with them working, I couldn't sleep after being awake for 24 hours(studying and 2 exams), and I couldn't fix food in my own kitchen. This persisted for an entire week and I had no where else to go. Their notice stated they'd be working that week but gave no specific times so it was impossible to schedule around, not to mention they were in my home long periods of time anyway.

Campus Walk Appt

Give me a break. I don't care if this person does work for the TV station. They were trying to improve her appt. Have your house remodeled and see what it gets you. You deal with the mess until the remodel is complete. They could have condemned the appt and forced her to move out. I do agree that they could have set appointment times to be there but the rest is ludicrous.

Whoa! Did you live here

Whoa! Did you live here during these renovations? I did. There was no reason to condemn the apartment because these were renovations to give the apartment a facelift. (Paint, new flooring, a dishwasher, etc). It was impossible to live in them during these renovations, mine took over 4 weeks. I couldn't even use my kitchen for most of it. Think about how much money you would spend if nearly all of your meals were fast food. You'd be upset about this useless renovations too, if it happened to you. Regardless of how all of the spray paint made it look in the end. These renovations started the first week of May and I still have people entering my apartment, without notice. So, you probably shouldn't comment if you have no idea what you're talking about. ;)

Whine?

So, the only person complaining is a WWAY employee - no other residents of the complex would come forward? Wow, talk about a slow news day. Sounds like the landlord went above-and-beyond to notify the tenants weeks in advance that the renovations would be occurring. New cabinets, countertops, appliances and floors take time - talk about ungrateful.

Are you a fool

The countertops are painted. The cabinets are painted so improvement seems like a strong word. maybe false advertising. You should go check out there model the cabinets are new but not what the apartments have the floors don't match the faucets don't match and the model shows a full size dishwasher while the residents got a half size. Then let's not forget the scene where the incompetent contractors showed up during the interview with a dishwasher and she already had one. This happened everyday of my renovation. Then the landlord went above and beyond lets be serious a piece of paper on your door the night before they are coming in that most likely blows off or is taken down when the first contractor goes in is very little on the side of notice. Then ok yeah try having your house renovated that is your choice these tenants were told this is happening and you will like it. Call the office and ask about all the contractors that were fired like the ones who stole from my apartment or painted peoples furniture. Lets also talk about how every contractor there has a key and I know this because a former employee told me when they still worked there. This whole process was awful and having people that had no drug or background checks having keys to my apartment all hours of the day and night has to be illegal. Check into that wwaytv.

This! They knocked and

This! They knocked and entered, never even waiting for a reply. I'd come home and random sketchy construction workers were in my home. The "renovations" to my apartment were not even good. They didn't even repair the floor which has a very large sink hole in it(and has for 4 years which they were notified about). The only thing worthwhile I received was the dishwasher. And like this person was saying, these workers ALL had keys and came in at any time they pleased without warning; with or without me being there and with NO supervision. I don't work for wway and I don't know anyone who does. I guess I would stand as a more credible source. It was poor planning to say the LEAST, as they decided to do all of this during the week of final exams. During this time, like I've said before, I was often unable to enter my home or even take a shower for very long periods of time. To some this may seem petty but if you had these workers in and out of your home with and without you being present and you were unable to live there for most of a week with no where else to go you would understand. Unfortunately it seems people don't understand the point of the news. The apartment complex needed bad publicity. The place is poorly run and they treat people just as poorly if not worse. This has just been the climax.

Are you a Tool

It sounds like you are very bitter.

I think it is reasonable and necessary for an apartment to remodel from time to time. I'm not sure what the story here is. They followed the law. Maybe you should move. Just a thought.

You have no idea!

They did give notice, but it was not correct on times, and the notice did not let us know that there would be people in and out and at odd hours. They did not tell us that these workers would have our keys. I came home to my apartment unlocked! For how long, God only knows. I didn't receive utility bills for months, even though I called and asked numerous times! Then, bam, out of nowhere, 4 months of utilities I was stuck paying within ten days!! They did not tell us that these workers would treat our apartments as their own and turn down the ac to 60!!! Or that they would not clean up after themselves, one bit! Or these "improvements", done by "professionals", were in fact things I could have done myself. And why for the love of god would professional painters not use PAINTERS tape?! I had paint all over. Until you lived through it, keep your mouth shut. Cause it was and still continues to be, HORRIBLE! Oh, and today, I found more than 20 nails in the parking lot, where I park my car! And when I told the maintenance guys, their response was, "yeah, we've been having a problem with that". Ummm, get up and pick them up!!! They simply do not care! And we were not told, or at least I was not, when I signed my lease last year, that there would be any construction in the near future!!!

boohoo

You live in someone else's property, they need to renovate to make it nicer for you. Deal.