KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville woman, who rents an apartment, is confused tonight after her lease was unexpectedly terminated.
Taylor Dickerson received a letter from the manager’s office last month that they want to renew her lease. She said, yes. Then earlier this month, the same manager’s office sent a letter saying the young mother’s lease is being terminated.
Anyone who has gone apartment hunting recently has discovered the choices are few. A recent report from the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors shows that the occupancy rate is currently at 96.5%.
For nearly four years, Dickerson has been pleased with the apartment she rents in Knoxville. She says the monthly rent is reasonable and she’s made many friends here. Her two-bedroom unit had once been rented by her grandmother who lived in the first-floor apartment for 25 years. The complex is Tiffany Square Apartments. The units are conveniently located in the heart of West Knoxville. In mid-August, Dickerson received her annual renewal letter from the apartment manager’s office.
“It says that they want to renew my lease just like every year we get it,” said Dickerson.
This letter reads “the renewal date of your lease is approaching. You are a valued resident and we would like you to stay.”
“They normally give it to us early since it is not due until November 30. They say they want to renew it. Obviously, the rent goes up, just like with any other apartment, inflation. I didn’t think anything of it,” said Dickerson.
After getting the letter, she went to the management office to tell them she would like to renew her lease. Yet, less than a month later she received a letter that said “Your lease is expiring and we do not desire to renew your lease.” Dickerson said it threw her for a loop.
“Out of nowhere, I might add. There was no indication from her whenever I spoke to her,” said Dickerson.
In the termination letter, there is one sentence that says why her lease is not being renewed. “Your apartment will be renovated. Therefore, please vacate the apartment no later than November 30th, 2022” reads the letter.
“There is no explanation why it changed in those two weeks,” said Dickerson.
Seeking some answers, we went to the management office asking about the contradictory letters, but no one would speak on camera. However, we were told half a dozen apartments at the 54-year-old complex are being renovated at one time and the job takes about a month or two to complete.
“It was out of their hands, she didn’t pick the apartments,” said Dickerson.
That’s the explanation Dickerson was given by the apartment manager. We were also told, that there are no units available to move current residents. For Dickerson, she is now searching for a new place to live.
“We don’t know yet. We’re looking. I think I found ten houses for rent, ten. Rather than 4 years ago looking you could find 200,” said Dickerson.
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Dickerson will have to uproot her kindergarten-aged son in two months and move from the only place he’s known. Most apartments she looked at cost twice what she is paying now. She knows finding a new rental will be a challenge, and her options are either just too expensive or unavailable.
Dickerson says some of the application fees now are outrageous. Then to be added to a months-long waiting list with no guarantee she’ll get the apartment, adds to her anxiety and frustration.