Prairie Village apartment residents get some relief from new owners after FOX4 investigation

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Over the past week FOX4 has reported about changes at the Kenilworth apartment complex in Prairie Village.

The new owners started canceling leases and raising rents. Tuesday, some of the residents are getting a little relief.

Many at Kenilworth Apartments still don’t know what they are going to do, but now some of them at least have a way out.

Recently, many residents got letters on their doors telling them their leases would not be renewed and they would need to move out within the next few months. Units are being renovated and if they want to stay with the complex they would need to pay a much higher rent. In some cases up to 45%.

The Denver-based owner, Avanti Residential, said to residents they were investing a significant amount of money into renovations, and attributed the rent increase to rising rents across the nation.

As you are aware, we have extensive renovation plans for Kenilworth. We are investing $30,000 to $35,000 per apartment in Kenilworth to modernize this dated community to current apartment standards, including much-needed infrastructure repairs to address plumbing, roof leaks, deteriorating balcony fencing, and the parking lot. Also, we have allocated $17,000 per apartment of that total on interiors alone.

Avanti Residential in a letter to residents

However, many of Kenilworth’s residents are older, and simply moving out is not an easy process for them.

The complex has refused to answer questions but FOX4 has continuously tried to reach out to them through email, phone, and social media for days. We listened to residents concerns and experiences, and brought the issue to the attention of the City of Prairie Village, city and state legislators. Finally, on Tuesday afternoon a letter to residents offered possible solutions even if they weren’t ideal.

The complex is offering residents who have a rent increase of more than 10% one free month rent if they choose to stay at the complex for the increased rate. Residents who have “documented hardship” will be offered $1,500 in moving expenses. However, the letter did not indicate would would constitute a documented hardship.

“We want all residents to continue to call Kenilworth home and hope you choose to stay. If you’re displaced from your apartment and have received a rental increase of more than 10%, we’re offering one month of free rent to all current Kenilworth residents who choose to move into a newly renovated apartment home. However, we know that this option isn’t feasible for all, and we want to help ease the transition if you’re experiencing hardship and choosing to move out of Kenilworth. If you fall into the latter category, please submit your request in writing to the leasing office. We’re offering $1,500 to help with moving expenses for those who have a documented hardship.”

Avanti Residential in a letter to residents

Tracey O’Neill’s mother is a resident at Kenilworth Apartments and spoke with FOX4 about her mother’s situation. When the letter went out to residents she told FOX4 she felt like Avanti Residential was finally starting to pay attention and it was because of the station’s efforts.

“If they honestly do what they’re saying, this could change people’s lives and even save some,” O’Neill said.

We understand this is a sensitive issue for many and want you to know that Avanti Residential is committed to providing compassionate and reasonable solutions to our residents as we deliver much-needed improvements to this apartment community.

Avanti Residential in a letter to residents

FOX4 will continue to follow developments as residents navigate their next steps. If you are a Kenilworth resident and want to reach out to Sherae Honeycutt you can email her at sherae.honeycutt@fox4kc.com.

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