Amberwood residents speak out about recent management demands

Published 8:39 am Saturday, April 13, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

During a meeting of the recently formed Amberwood Apartments tenant’s association, nearly a dozen residents spoke out about a recent change in the maintenance of the facility.

Residents are upset that management is demanding that they clean the hallways outside of their apartments and threatening them with eviction if they do not.

In a letter posted at the facility by management and dated April 5, the senior apartment complex stated they “do not have cleaners that we contract to come and clean our building” and claimed that “residents are responsible for making sure that our building stays clean.” The LaGrange Daily News has been provided a copy of the message.

Residents note that their Resident Handbook, which is included in their lease, says that the apartment complex is responsible for maintaining common areas such as hallways.

In a copy of the Resident Handbook provided to the Daily News, the handbook states:

“The property grounds will be maintained appropriately. This includes lawns, common area, sidewalks and parking lots. However, during inclement weather such as snowfall or fallen leaves, residents are responsible for the removal of snow on and around their personal vehicle.”

Residents said workers from New Ventures had been cleaning common areas until around November 2023.

Residents also noted that due to their age and health they aren’t able to sweep, vacuum or mop outside their apartments and shouldn’t have to clean up other people’s messes. 

“I’ve been in a walker or this wheelchair for the last two years. It’s hard for me to sweep. It’s hard for me to mop the floor, and vacuuming is totally a no-no for me,” resident Charlotte Smith said.

In the notice, management said that hallways on each floor are the tenant’s responsibility.

“Should the floors be filthy upon inspection at ANY time, each unit on that side of the floor will receive an infraction,” the notice said.

The notice provided an example, saying if the hallway in front of apartment 411 is dirty, each unit from 401 to 412 would receive infractions.

Residents said they shouldn’t have to clean up other people’s messes.

“I had to clean up egg shells one Sunday morning that were put at my door by someone,” Smith said. “It was at my door and on my door. I had to clean that up, and I didn’t like it.”

“They say if we don’t keep our floors clean they’re going to write us up. If you get three write-ups, you are out of here,” Amberwood Resident Sherri Snow said.

“They don’t care where you go. You’re not doing what they’re asking. So they’re going to get rid of us. That’s I think why we’re trying to get a group together to stop this because that is illegal,” Snow said.

The notice also threatened eviction for “disrespecting ANY of our staff for ANY reason” without defining what they consider as disrespect, leaving residents to wonder if they will be retaliated against for simply voicing complaints or criticism of the property.

“We will not tolerate disrespecting of ANY of our staff for ANY reason. Whether it be written, verbal or physical. For this, you will receive an infraction.  Any three infractions in a one-year period can/will result in termination of your lease agreement,” the notice said.

Residents also raised several complaints about the upkeep of the property, claiming to have to do repairs themselves. One woman said her complaints of not having smoke detectors in her apartment have fallen on deaf ears. Another said their apartment door hasn’t been able to lock for weeks.

Because of the threat of eviction, the tenants association said it is considering civil action against Amberwood.

Multiple voicemails left asking for comment from Amberwood management were not returned on Friday.