Photo by Ryan Parker via Unsplash

Two hundred tenants at the waterfront Hamilton by the Bay apartment complex in Edgewater have 60 days to find a new home. They must evacuate the premises by July 16.

This news broke after the residents of the Miami apartment were reassured that they would be provided efficient time and resources to accommodate their housing needs following the purchasing of the Hamilton building from Apartment Investment and Management Company (Aimco). 

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After being pressured to sign a new lease accompanied with a cancellation clause, the residents were told they had 60 days to move out.

Some of the tenants also inevitably signed into cancellation clauses months before their original lease expired. 

Aimco bought the Hamilton apartment building for $80 million, along with surrounding properties.  

However, this isn’t the first time the real estate investment company has forced tenants out of their homes. In 2019, Aimco bought Flamingo Point in Miami Beach and left 400 residents squandering for quick housing solutions.

Repairs to the building have also been in production since 2017 after hurricane Irma hit South Florida; Aimco claims the difficulties with constructing around the residents is in part the reason why the 60-day notice was initiated.

We had hoped to renovate the building ‘around’ residents, but the ultimate condition of the building and the necessary repairs made that plan untenable…,” Aimco said in a statement. 

In the lease termination letter sent out in mid-May, Aimco revealed that the construction “would block access” to the resident’s apartments.

Hamilton houses elderly and disabled residents who pay below-market prices. 

I am going to be 72-years-old in August and the rent I am going to have to pay to move out to cover the moving expenses is my whole Social Security check,” Larry Schatz, a resident at Hamilton, told NBC Miami.

Another resident, Marla LaVoice also told NBC Miami, “We are not asking for anything out of the ordinary. We all pay our rent on time. We want to stay, and or have more time to leave with some compensation.”

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Aimco claims it is providing residents faced with their untimely removal with resources such as transfers to other Aimco buildings, moving expenses discounts, and considering flexible moving times. 

However, the living fees in regard to living in an Aimco building that may be more expensive than their current living situation, zoning, and the tenant’s felt entitlement to more than just discounts, these measures are criticized by said tenants. 

An attorney, David Winker, was hired to represent a group of tenants fighting against Aimco. 

The tenants are asking for a mid-September move-out extension date, an end to the noisy renovations until their extension date is reached, and $22,500 per unit. With no negotiations according to Winker.“As far as I can tell, this is pretty unprecedented in South Florida,” Winker told NBC Miami, “We have to remember these renters are not commodities. These renters are humans.”

Written ByRachelle Barrett

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