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Dozens displaced from Waco apartment complex & looking for answers

University Club Apartments
Posted at 11:18 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 07:54:15-04

WACO, Texas — Waco residents are scrambling to find new places to stay after receiving seven-day notices that their leases will be terminated.

Residents at the University Club Apartments on Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in Waco told 25 News that on Monday, a truck knocked down multiple power lines outside their building. Residents in their lost power and on Wednesday, they received notices asking them to vacate the property by March 23.

Resident Jarvis McDonald said residents were originally told that the power was fixable and that it should be repaired within hours. Two days later, he and his family were still without power. A notice on his door read, in part:

"Unfortunately the damage to your unit is so extensive that your unit has become totally unusable as a practical matter for residential purposes. The damage to the unit would result in health and safety hazards to you and your family if you returned to live in this unit.

We therefore are forced to exercise our right under Section 92.054 of the Texas Property Code and Paragraph 25 of the Lease Contract to terminate the Lease Contract by giving you this written notice, which will effectively terminate your lease on 3-23-22."

Lease termination notice
Jarvis McDonald's lease termination notice, received from University Club Apartments on March 16, 2022.

Section 92.054 of the Texas Property Code explains that if premises are unlivable and not those circumstances are not caused by the complex, they can terminate the lease by written notice before the repairs are completed.

McDonald and other neighbors, many with children, said their entire building of 12 units received the same notice. Many are struggling to find a new home in just a week.

"Just trying to keep it together, trying to see what we're gonna do next," McDonald said.

25 News called the apartment complex twice. An assistant manager explained that they were in the midst of trying to find an alternate location for the residents to stay.

They also said the decision to close the building was made by the city, not the apartment complex. The city of Waco, however, said they were called by a resident about the power outage, but they have nothing to do with the lease terminations.

When 25 News arrived at the complex to speak to residents and ask management for answers, they were asked by management to leave the property. The property is managed by DTI Properties and 25 News is still waiting to hear back from the company.

The Red Cross was also at the complex Thursday afternoon to provide resources to the displaced tenant.

It is still not clear when or how the complex will return the future rent paid by residents.