Local News

Rocky Mount apartment tenants: Let there be Christmas lights

Posted November 24, 2009 1:19 p.m. EST
Updated November 24, 2009 6:06 p.m. EST

— Some tenants at a Rocky Mount subsidized-living apartment complex are upset over a new policy preventing them from decorating with outdoor Christmas lights.

Residents at the Mayfair Apartments, 1602 Chicora Court, received a letter recently from management informing them of the new policy. Managers claimed the lights aren’t allowed due to fire safety reasons.

“We were told we could not have outside Christmas lights, nothing that lit up the only thing we could have is a wreath on the door,” resident Lois Brown said.

In previous years, residents were allowed to decorate with outdoor lights.

“I think it’s ridiculous. We've had such a pretty place since I've been out here with everybody decorating,” Brown said.

Mayfair Apartments came under fire earlier this year from tenants who claimed they were being bullied by property management, Wellons Foundation Management Services.

Bernice Fuller, 76, said property management sent her an eviction notice in June because she had been feeding a stray cat.

Fuller said she and her neighbors would feed the cat, and one day, they received letter from the apartment management informing them that feeding strays was not allowed.

Soon after, Fuller said, the property manager saw her leaving food for it and sent her an eviction notice.

Property management said Fuller violated the pet regulations by not filing the paper work or paying the required fee for keeping a cat.

Other neighbors have complained that management forced them to rip out all of the flowers in their gardens.

Property managers said it was a misunderstanding and that they only asked that flower boxes and pots be removed from windows and doors under fire regulations imposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"We look at the community as a whole, and we have to do what's best for the entire community," Cathy Kennedy, executive director of operations for Wellons Foundation, said in June.

Calls to Wellons Management on Tuesday were not returned.