Residents of all 12 units of an apartment building in Winona Lake were given written notice Wednesday evening that they are being evicted. Billie Baldridge, a resident at 77 Kings Highway, said the building’s owner, Jacalyn Haist, also told them electricity to the building was being turned off the following day.
The complex is occupied largely by those who pay week to week, said Baldridge, who produced a receipt dated Oct. 7 showing she is paid in full until Oct. 21. “She wants us out immediately, but she’s not giving us our deposits back,” Baldridge said, noting Haist “is a nice woman, but this is just wrong.”
The notice given to each resident of 77 Kings Highway read: “Due to finances I am sorry to announce that I must close the apartment building immediately. You need to find housing elsewhere as soon as possible.”
In a panic, Baldridge called every assistance agency in Warsaw hoping someone could help the residents at least keep the power on until they can relocate. Haist failed to return our call, but Bob Weaver of the Kosciusko County Health Department said she did return his call and said the utilities would remain on. Haist did not, however, say how long that would be.
The written notice provided to the tenants, however, did note that those who pay weekly have one week to vacate the premises and those who pay bi-weekly will have two weeks to vacate.
Weaver said he told Haist that most courts will grant tenants as much time to relocate that correlates with their rent. “If they pay by the week or two weeks, then they get that amount of time,” he explained. But the bigger issue Weaver noted was the alleged threat to have the power turned off. “I asked her to leave that on and she said she would abide by that and not have the power turned off.”
As of Thursday evening Baldridge said the power was still on at 77 Kings Highway but, after she spoke with Haist again yesterday, she said none of the residents are likely to receive their deposits back. “She told me she didn’t have the money,” Baldridge said.
Baldridge said the eviction notice affects about 35 people, including a grandmother whose five grandchildren live with her. She added, “(Haist) had to have known this was coming for a while, I think it’s just really bad she did this with basically no notice to anyone.”
Weaver said Haist relayed that she wants to get out of the business of renting and sell the building.