RENTER: Rental agency said it made mistake forcing her to move because of COVID-19 funds

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A Greenville renter who said she was told to move out of her apartment complex next month because she received financial assistance on her rental payments has updated that the rental agency is now offering to renew her lease.

The renter, Nandi Barton, said she has paid her rent in full and on time since she started renting from Legacy at Fire Tower in September of 2020.

At that time, Barton moved to Greenville looking for a fresh start.

“I was just coming here for my children to have a better life,” Barton said.

In August of 2021, Barton’s job asked her to transition out of a remote position and into in-person shifts, something she couldn’t accommodate. She lost her job. Soon after, she got sick with COVID-19.

Barton says she remembered a note on her rental payment submission form in the past.

“I had seen the resources that said: If you are having struggles due to COVID-19, you can use this program,” Barton said.

She then applied for the HOPE Program funds, which were available to households impacted by the virus who were struggling with rent and utility payments.

Knowing her lease would soon be up, Barton says she reached out to the property to find out the terms of a renewal.

Later, she received a notice at her door saying her unit was undergoing a “management non-renewal due to receiving financial assistance.”

When asked why this was the reason for a non-renewal, Legacy at Firetower said, ”Ownership has discretion whether to renew a lease and they chose not to.”

Now, Barton says the rental agency is offering to renew her lease and that the notices were sent “by mistake.”

Barton says her assumption is “this [is] how they want to rectify the problem. I honestly have mixed feelings about it.”

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