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Seven Oaks Apartments residents push back against management

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Zhi’Ria Cook moved to the Seven Oaks Apartments complex near Leon Valley almost a year ago and has been facing problems since day one.

The 23-year-old single mother said that when she first saw her unit, she was littered with dead cockroaches. The problem was only the tip of the iceberg — Cook said he had complained about a cockroach-infested refrigerator and a large unaddressed leak.

“As long as they have money in their pockets, management doesn’t care,” Cook said. “We are all dollar signs for them.”

Housekeeper Cook was one of the dozens of tenants and leaders in the Texas Organizing Project, teaming up Thursday afternoon to provide a list of requests for rental offices in the complex. This included a request to fix all maintenance issues within 72 hours. Some residents who attended have been notified that they have little time to move out, so there is also a request that they should not be forced to move out by December 23. Tenants are also asking for $ 6,000 in relocation assistance per unit.

The letter to management also states that the tenant is facing “unjustified evacuation notices”, arbitrary charges, broken air conditioning units, black mold, mice and cockroaches.

The organizer and a group of frustrated residents wanted to talk to management, but the office was closed when they arrived near 5 pm. However, the building is open until 6pm on weekdays.

However, the crowd gathered in front of the building, shouting some of their demands and concerns, chanting “no justice or peace,” and some in the group waved at the video camera facing the front door. The group posted pictures of some apartment problems.

“Management, here’s your tenant’s request,” Lloyd Kaikendor of the Texas Organizer Project told Blowhorn, calling on management to come to the door. “These are your tenants and they refuse to live under substandard conditions.”

Peer Richardson, 29, taped the tenant’s request to the door of the building. Several members of the crowd cheered when Richardson said the group would leave reminders until they got a response.

Richardson, the server of the Chinese restaurant, has lived in this complex for about nine months. He hadn’t been drinking hot water for months, even though he placed an order for his job and talked to an employee in the rental office. After feeling his concerns dismissed, Richardson told the office that he wouldn’t pay them until his water was fixed. Since then, he has received two evacuation notices with a three-day deadline for evacuation.

Other tenants, including Willy Lector (52) and David Riojas (53), have invoice issues. The two said they had received rental assistance from the city, but they had received a move-out notice from the complex claiming they had not paid the full amount. The two said management had switched to a more expensive monthly lease, but said Lector and Riohas were unaware of the advance shift and the associated additional costs.

But billing is one of many issues that Lector wanted to fix. She said there were also problems with plumbing, air conditioning, and shut down laundry equipment on her radar.

“I’m tired of calming down,” Lector said. She has lived in this complex for two years.

Tenants said many of the problems began to occur under the new controls they took over at the end of last year or earlier this year.

Richardson said he saw many tenants move and many units in the complex left empty after receiving the move-out notice.

Cook’s fear of the complex is beyond what he sees within the unit. She said safety is a big issue. She knew people whose belongings were stolen from the front of the door, and she personally faced people while she roamed the complex. She said she had relatives to care for her three-year-old child because Cook was afraid to take her to her apartment.

Attendees weren’t surprised at the office closure when rental office staff called police on Wednesday when a group of renters and TOP staff discussed a game plan to raise their concerns in an apartment complex. ..

Police were called on Thursday as well. At 5:40 pm, when the rally ended, two policemen drove a car, called the police at 5:30 pm, and a crowd gathered in front of the door.

However, the phone did not discourage TOP and tenants. The group will meet on Saturday, potentially at the complex, to begin organizing the tenants’ union. Housing Justice Organizer Ashton Condel, 28, said TOP will bring in a lawyer to help with the effort.

“It will give these people legal protection,” Condel said of forming a union.

The leasing office did not return a 2:00 pm comment request from Express-News. Achieve an investment groupMarco Acuña of the Texas Organizing Project said he owns the complex, but did not immediately respond to an email request for comment on Thursday.

The Seven Oaks Apartment Complex will appear as “Completely Closed” on Google Maps.The same address and phone number listed in the rental office of the complex Realize the Investment Group’s real estate websiteBut with a different complex name— Corinas in the medical..

Editor’s Note: The citations in this article have been updated to correct inaccurate information about tenant unions.

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