Resident Tells of Forced Eviction - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Resident Tells of Forced Eviction

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Residents gathered the last of their belongings from the Chattanooga Inn and Suites Tuesday.  They were told Friday night they had to be out by Monday.  The Electric Power Board tells us the owners are behind on the bills, but they were working out a payment plan.

When bills weren't paid Monday morning, EPB says it had no choice, but to shut off power.

"Saturday evening the guy that runs this place said he wanted to see all of us in the office," says Bobby Martin who has lived at Chattanooga Inn & Suites for three months. 

What the manager had to say is something no tenant wants to hear.  "He was gonna have to give me back my check for the rent," Martin says of the conversation.  "The power company was wanting an $11,000 deposit or something." 

Martin and about 10 other tenants were told they had to move out immediately.  "I just thought there wasn't no way I could be out by Monday," Martin said. 

Martin and his family spent Tuesday morning loading the last of his belongings.  He says during the meeting Friday night the manager shared all little bit of what's happened behind the scene at the motel.

"Supposedly the owner owed some money on the taxes," Martin says. 

The property is empty Tuesday all residents had to be out Monday.  The manager did leave a note on the door saying that a combination of property taxes, the economy and approximate $11,000 deposit from EPB are what forced the closure." 

The note went on to say,  "We have done everything possible and even the property operator has lost thousands of dollars that cannot be recouped." 

"First off we want to express out sympathy to all the tenants caught in the middle of this," says Lacie Newton with the Electric Power Board. 

EPB wouldn't tell us the exact dollar amount, but they did say they had been working with the property owner on back payments.

"We worked for several months with the owner and had actually come up with an arrangement," Newton says. 

The company says they thought the plan they arranged with the motel would work.  At the end of the day it's people like Bobby Martin who are left high and dry.

"I mean I don't know what the deal is with EPB or what the problem is with this place," Martin says.  "I don't think they should have cut the power off with all the kids living here." 

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