VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Kicked out, locks changed, and banned from the premises, for some former Waypoint Apartment residents in Virginia Beach, it was like bad break-up between them and their landlord.
Now former residents say the only way back in is for their landlord to buy them out.
“The folks over at Waypoint have just been through a horrific nightmare, and regrettably, they are not at the end of it,” said attorney Gary Byler.
Byler is representing over 30 former Waypoint residents. He says they were wrongfully banned from their apartments after Hurricane Matthew and a bout of asbestos poisoned some homes.
Byler says being asked to move out is one thing, but he says the landlord would not let residents have their belongings.
“What we are trying to do now is to get compensation for the physical items that were basically, unlawfully taken by the landlord,” Byler told News 3’s Merris Badcock.
Byler argues the landlord had no authority to change the locks on the contaminated apartments. He says only a judge can do that.
“We have got folks who had family heirlooms, and they were ordered, under threat of incarceration, to not go get their personal materials,” said Byler.
Byler says residents were only allowed to collect their belongings if they agreed not to sue for asbestos exposure.
Byler says he plans to submit claims in the next two to three days for a handful of his clients. If he does not get a response from Waypoint in a week, he will file a lawsuit before Christmas.