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Families told to leave Tacoma apartments: 'It's so scary it brings tears to my eyes'

Dozens of people at a Tacoma apartment complex are scrambling to find somewhere to live after their building was sold, and they were given notice to leave. (Photo: KOMO News)

TACOMA, Wash. -- Dozens of people at a Tacoma apartment complex are scrambling to find somewhere to live after their building was sold, and they were given notice to leave

"They didn’t did give us enough time to save money to get out," said tenant William Peterson, who fears that in two weeks his family of four will be living in a tent.

"It's so scary it brings tears to my eyes because my little girl is shocked over it," said Peterson.

According to a Pierce County excise tax affidavit, the building was sold on April 4 to CWD Investments LLC of Seattle. On that same day, tenants said they found notices on their doors to leave by the end of the month because the building is undergoing a major renovation. Under state law, the landlord can issue the notices because the rentals are month-to-month.

"We tried to get help one time when we were homeless four years ago, and there was no help in Tacoma, so we learned how to do it on our own, and now we’re going to have to do it even harder on our own because there’s still no place for us to go," said Peterson. who has past due medical bills, lives on one income and doesn't have much in savings. He's not sure where to go, and, he's not alone.

People in 60 units at the Tiki Apartments, 1111 South Highland Ave., are scrambling -- and they say it's not easy on short notice because of the housing crunch.

"I'm in a tough boat," said William Fowles who has lived at the complex for 14 years.

Fowles is retired and got out of the hospital for a back injury two days before he received the vacate notice.

"If my back was OK and I was like I was, I'd probably just start packing stuff up and get ready- I can't do that. I can't hardly move," said Fowles.

The landlord is giving tenants a $900 relocation fee when they turn in their apartment keys -- something they're not obligated to do -- but some stay it will still be difficult to find housing. According to Trulia, a real estate data firm, Tacoma had the largest rent increase in the country between 2016 and 17.

"In my situation, I don't know, I guess I'll just have them knock on my door and arrest me, I don't know. There's nothing else I can do," said Fowles. No one from the property management company, Allied Residential, returned our calls on Thursday.

If tenants have questions about their rental situation, they can contact the Landlord-Tenant Unit at 253-591-5085 .

To learn more:

How difficult it is for an average wage earner to afford an apartment in Tacoma.

More facts about rents and income in Washington.



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