KC apartment tenants feel left out in cold by landlord’s renovation decision

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dozens of renters in Kansas City are frustrated with their landlord. They received a letter a day after Thanksgiving stating that they have two months to move out of their apartment due to renovations for the building that’s nearly 100 years old.

“Instead of putting up our Christmas tree, we’re packing boxes,” Sheree Smith, resident at The Alps Apartments, told FOX4.

It’s not how Smith and Cody Lomas thought they’d be preparing for Christmas.

“Worst case scenario, we’re going to have to end up in a hotel until we find somewhere to go,” Lomas said.

They’re told the renovations will make the building uninhabitable.

“It’s the day after Thanksgiving, here comes Christmas, its COVID, you know, this is just ridiculous,” Smith lamented.

FOX4 reached out to the Alps owner, Del Hedgepath, who didn’t want to talk on camera. He said, by law, the company was obligated to give a 30-day notice, but told residents 68 days in advance.

In a statement he said in part: “It was a hard decision to vacate an occupied property and certainly does not make financial sense to do so. But I’m faced with an elevator that needs to be replaced, 100-year-old water lines that just do not produce the water pressure tenants deserve, and it is more than time for that five-story building to get a fire suppression system installed.”

Tara Raghuveer, director of KC Tenants, said Hedgepath’s decision is legal, but it doesn’t make it right.

“Some of the tenants in that building will not have an easy time getting together a deposit and finding a place to live in a matter of months, in the middle of everything that’s going on,” Raghuveer said.

The decision has left 68 people with decisions to make before January 31st.

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