City locks out Raleigh renter after storm
Posted April 22, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Since Saturday's violent storms sent a tree crashing through the roof of her Brentwood Road apartment, Sonja Orr has been locked out. She, her boyfriend and their children have been staying at a Super 8.
Orr had renter's insurance to protect her belongings, but when she returned to retrieve them, she found blue tape and a sign that read "Unsafe Building" on the door. Her key wouldn't work in the new locks.
"It's very frustrating," she said. "The building is not going to collapse or anything, so I don't understand why we can't get the rest of our stuff."
Managers of the Stony Brook Apartments sent her a letter ending her lease. It explains that, when a property is deemed uninhabitable, the lease is automatically void.
"I'm homeless," Orr said. "I've paid rent until the 30th of the month." Stony Brook will apply that rent toward her hotel stay but won't let her and her family back in once repairs are made.
"Why can't they just put me up in a hotel until they repair the place and let me continue my lease," she wondered.
The Raleigh Housing Authority, which owns Stony Brook Apartments, was closed Friday for the holiday.
Orr is apartment hunting, and she said her insurance will pay for about a month in a hotel until she finds a new home.