Renters at the Creekside Inn in Gatlinburg received an eviction notice on Friday, hand delivered by the owners’ lawyers, letting them know that the motel will be closing and they have 10 days to be out.
Andrew Romine lives at the Creekside Inn with his wife and four kids.
“It’s pretty much being put out in the streets in 10 days,” said Romine. “A lot of people out here don’t even have cars. A lot of them are fire victims. Fortunately, I have a vehicle and I’ve been helping out where I can.”
In the notice the owners, Maury and Joan Greenstein, typed out in bold and underlined font, “We also understand the City of Gatlinburg intends to condemn the motel once the power is shut off, accordingly you should immediately take efforts to find other housing.”
The city of Gatlinburg announced Thursday night the power would be restored for 10 days after it was shut off Wednesday morning. Charitable organizations pitched in to allow renters more time to find a new place to live but renters say that doesn’t fix the lack of housing problem.
“I’ve kind of been, you know, looking for places for rent,” said Glenn Hodge, Jr. “But like I said, most places are pretty expensive and that’s the kind of thing here in town. It’s like there’s not a lot for the locals and not a lot of things that’s affordable.”
Renters are also wondering where their rent money was going if it wasn’t going towards the electric bills.
“One of things raised by the property owners’ attorneys here is they are looking into where the money went to,” said Romine. “What was being done with it. Everyone here can speculate what happened. I don’t want to speculate because I mind my own business and if the people are guilty of whatever they’ve done and not paying the proper money to the proper place then yeah, they need to be brought to justice.”
When WATE crews approached the lawyers at Creekside Inn, they said “no comment.”