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Irma-damaged apartment residents upset after eviction

Clause in lease authorizes complex to evict residents 'if property is destroyed'

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Hurricane Irma cleanup in the Jacksonville area continued Saturday, residents at a Westside apartment complex told News4jax that they are frustrated with the management’s efforts. 

Residents in the Heritage on the River Apartments in the Confederate Point neighborhood are packing up to leave after their apartments, which were flooded by over five feet of water.

Residents said they were given a notice to vacate the property within seven days.

In the letter the residents received, property management cited lease provision 25, which states that if the premises are destroyed by fire or other casualty, parties have the right to terminate the lease by seven-day written notice to the other party.

“Corporate came out and just handed papers and said, ‘We're very sorry about your inconvenience but this is all we're doing. You have to vacate,’” resident Rozia Mosley said. “I thought it was heartless."

Residents told News4Jax reporter Destiny McKeiver that they have absolutely nowhere to go. Stephanie Lawings said management gave her a notice to vacate with a box of pizza and a bottle of water.

Lawings is just one of several people who are now homeless because their units flooded during the storm.

“I live right out back on the water and it's just a horrible mess,” Lawings said. “The water started rising and coming in from the front and back.”

Many people stopped saying how bad the last few days have been for them. Lawson said she had to take her grandson to the hospital because they were breathing contaminated air.

“My grandson had to go to the ER. They gave me antibiotics and steroids for my grandson also,” Lawings said. “I went to the leasing office to try and speak with the property manager. An employee answered the door and said, ‘No comment.’"

Based on the provision, it seems as if the property owner is acting lawfully, but residents are saying it's an inconvenience.

News4Jax reached out to Princeton Management, which owns the property, for comment and is awaiting a response.