KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — People who live at an apartment complex in Fountain City have been told there can be no flags flying in front of their units. The mandate banning flags is among several new controversial rules issued for residents at Hillside Apartments last month.
One veteran said he draws the line at having to remove the American flag. However, there are several new rules that make sense to residents. For instance, no grills are allowed on the property to prevent the potential of a fire.
However, when it comes to security cameras, door mats, and flags there is a lot of opposition.
Brandon Davis is proud of the American flag. As a Navy veteran, he was taught to honor and respect it. That is why he flies it outside his apartment in Fountain City where he has lived for three years.
However, Brun Property Management is enforcing new rules for the complex, it says no flags and a deadline was set for enforcement.
A walk-through was scheduled for Aug. 3 to assure the regulations were being followed. That date has been moved to Aug. 9. The flags are still flying. Residents at Hillside Apartments received a list of 13 new regulations in early July.
“One of the first rules that they have is no planters, flags or decorations of any kind. I’m not taking my flag down, not until I move. That’s my right, flying it. If they have a problem with that, then we need to start asking some tougher questions,” Davis said.
“I went through boot camp. I served this country. To be told that you can’t have a US flag outside of your place, that’s a kick in the teeth,” said Brad Brooks, an Army veteran who served for six years. “We sacrificed a piece of ourselves for this country. To be treated like it’s no big deal, that we should just be expected to follow these rules. It angers me.”
Another new rule says doorbell cameras and surveillance systems are not allowed at the apartment complex.
“There are rules in there I have questions about because I have children. One of my vehicles was broken into here. That’s why followed through with a camera pointing out my window. They told me I can’t do that. I said ‘Why?’ They said, ‘Well it’s in our rules.’ I said there is no legal precedence for you to say this. They said, ‘It’s for the privacy of our neighbors,'” Brooks said.
Davis has a security camera inside his unit. It points toward his SUV which was once vandalized.
“My own cameras are inside my own house. So, how can they legally tell me what I can and can’t put inside my own property?” Davis said.
Another rule says planters and patio furniture chairs are not allowed. If families want to go outside their unit, they will have to sit on the stairway.
“I have never heard any more ridiculous rules in my life. No patio furniture,” Davis said.
There is even a new regulation specifying the type of doormat that is permitted.
“It does specify we can have mats but it can only say the word ‘welcome’ on it,” Davis said. “So, bienvenidos, I guess would be out of the question.”
WATE went to Brun Property Management to get answers to some of the questions. The receptionist said Marc Brun was not in. We received a letter from Marc Brun on Aug. 7.
Brun Property Management says it believes the new rules are “essential for maintaining a peaceful living environment.” The company president also said he is “committed to open communication and willing to discuss concerns with his residents.”
Those we talked with said they do have concerns and do want to talk to property management to come up with some solutions.