Renters on their own after Nashville apartment flooded - WSMV Channel 4

Renters on their own after Nashville apartment flooded by burst pipe

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Renters who were flooded out of their Nashville apartment building when a pipe burst earlier this month are learning they have to move out of their temporary lodging or start paying their own hotel bills.

The damaged Villa Louise Apartments building is being renovated, but that could take months. And, for now, residents are being told they're on their own.

Mary Giglio's son was bringing her home from the hospital Jan. 7 when they found an inch of water on the floor. Giglio has diabetes and became a double amputee in October.

"Management told us at that point that we would be well taken care of," Giglio said. "We relied on them to do that."

The landlord put everyone up at Home2 Suites by Hilton, where they're waiting to hear when the repairs will be done.

But on Thursday, Mary Giglio and her son, Thomas Giglio, got a letter from their landlord, AMCORP Realty, saying they had to move out by Monday because their insurance company would no longer pay for their hotel room.

"So we're going to be faced with paying for our own hotel, which is going to be exorbitant, I assume. And, so far, that's where we're at," Thomas Giglio said.

A lot of tenants are angry and say management is backtracking on promises it made right after the flood.

Eddie, who prefers we use only his first name, said he started documenting the contradictions. First, he said management promised that their expenses like their temporary lodging, moving expenses and storage would all be reimbursed.

"We have an email from her the day after the flood occurred saying we were being moved to a hotel and that insurance was going to be paying for that," Eddie said.

It's in writing.

"Please keep those receipts for reimbursement from the insurance company," a piece of correspondence says.

But then, in a later phone call Eddie taped, the manager changed the story.

"I don't know if the insurance company is going to reimburse you guys," the manager says in the recording.

"She said, 'Can I be honest with you? You probably won't ever see that money,'" Eddie said.

Channel 4 News went to the Villa Louise Apartments office, but the door was locked. The manager declined an interview about the contradictions but provided a statement, which is included in its entirety at the bottom of this story.

In the phone call Eddie recorded the manager, she states AMCORP had decided to upgrade the units to make the place stunning, including all-new kitchens. So, now, some tenants wonder if the company wants its old tenants to move out so it can raise the rents.

"I've been there a long time, so my rent isn't as high as a new person's could be," Thomas Giglio said.

After 10 years of paying rent, Thomas Giglio said he expected better treatment.

"People have been loyal to them, and they would be loyal to us," he said.

The official statement provided by Villa Louise property management is as follows:

"Sadly our property was one of many in the Nashville area that was affected by the freezing temperatures that led to frozen pipes bursting under stressed conditions this winter. Unfortunately, due to the extensive damage, the property is uninhabitable and needs major renovations. We are working diligently to ensure the property is restored so our tenants can return to their homes.

"All of our residents are contractually obligated to purchase casualty and liability insurance. The reason for purchasing insurance is to help with replacing personal belongings and to assist with temporary housing needs in situations like this.

"Travelers Insurance and Villa Louise Apartments have gone above and beyond their contractual obligation in providing almost 3 weeks of temporary housing for our residents."

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