“We paid our rent, which included water, and now we’re being told we have 30 days to leave,” resident Michael Jones said during a city council meeting Aug. 5, speaking on behalf of his mother, an apartment resident.
During public comment, Jones, along with four other apartment residents, asked the city council what residents’ options were since they were given a notice to vacate on Aug. 3.
The water will be turned off by the city on Sept. 5 unless the landlord pays the water bill before that time.
City Councilman Tracey Wyatt said, “The city cannot get in between a tenant and landlord dispute. We’re responsible for cutting off the water of a building that didn’t pay [its bill].”
Residents described the landlord as “nowhere to be found,” after receiving their notices, which were taped to front doors.
Although the city council did not give an exact date as to how long the apartment’s water bill has been delinquent, Mayor Jack Longino described the debt as being due for “months and months.”
“The only thing we can do at this point is hope the owner of the apartments comes through and pays,” he said.
However, tenants expressed their doubts about the landlord “coming through” for them and continued to ask for assistance from the city.
City Councilman Joe Carn suggested they pursue legal action.
“You have enough to take [Turnbury Apartments] to court,” he said after one resident presented the 30-day notice to vacate.
Although the residents expressed frustration over the lack of restitution for their rent and water payments as well as the 30-day vacate notice, Wyatt said the city was on their side.
“I’ll be holding a meeting with the residents of Turnbury next week,” Wyatt said when asked by one resident of the complex if the city could possibly help with the sudden transition.
If no payment is made on the delinquent water bill, residents will have to be out by Sept. 5.
According to the county tax assessor’s website, the owner is DB Aster LLC of Horsham, Penn., which bought the 40-year-old property at auction in 2012 for $1.2 million.
According to the tax commissioner’s website, the owner owes $11,885 in 2013 property taxes.
Florida tax records link the company to Ted Schroeder, an attorney at publicly traded luxury-home builder Toll Brothers.
The Philadelphia-area company owns properties throughout the U.S. but not in Georgia, according to its website.
The Georgia Secretary of State website indicates the entity filed in 2012, renewed in July and is one of three similarly named corporations listed as “foreign.”
According to media reports, DB Aster is a division of Toll Brothers’ subsidiary Gibraltar Capital and Asset Management, a real estate acquisition company formed in 2010 under its new CEO Douglas Yearley Jr. to pursue “distressed” properties.
Schroeder could not be reached before press time.
Note: this story appeared in the Aug. 14 print edition of the South Fulton Neighbor.