Attorneys representing residents who are suing the building owners for negligence claim the waivers state renters won’t sue the owners of the building at all.
ATLANTA — Editor’s Note: The above video is from previous coverage of this story.
Renters at The Reserve at Lavista Walk are frustrated after they claim they were required to sign a waiver to gather what’s left of their belongings following a devastating fire.
Attorneys representing victims of the fire who are suing the building owners for
“potential landlord negligence” on Saturday claim the waivers state renters won’t sue the owners. After signing the waiver, residents, specifically in a building untouched by the fire, are given four hours to gather their personal items.
“They’re basically holding our property hostage right now,” said Billie Joe Konze. “We’ve been told if we don’t sign the waiver and we try to enter, we’ll be arrested or could be arrested.”
Konze said she has many sentimental items that cannot be replaced, including equipment to continue doing her job.
“I just want to be able to get in and get the things I can’t replace. I have things from my grandmother that passed away in there. We’re being told that we cannot go in the building without signing a waiver that gives away all the rights we have to sue the owners for negligence and other issues,” said Konze.
The story continues after the gallery.
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Resident also allege that they are not allowed to use moving trucks, cars in the parking ramp and elevators. They also claim they can only bring four people to help them.
“I’m not signing the paper. I don’t believe we should be signing. It basically means we have no rights anymore,” Konze said.
Maxwell Korn, who has also lived in the building since 2019, believes the owners need to “face accountability.”
“That to me is just predatory behavior. They’re basically holding our stuff hostage,” said Korn.
He initially thought he would be signing a liability waiver in case he got hurt in what’s left of the building.
“We just want our stuff. People, their family, their lives, their valuables; we’re just afraid that’s all going to get demolished, that they’re not going to let us in unless we sign away our rights. That’s the big fear,” said Korn. “It’s all just right there, so close we can taste it. It would be so helpful to just get whatever we can.”
Konze also claimed that management recently dropped the requirement for renter’s insurance. She still encourages renters to still have it no matter what.
11Alive has made several attempts to reach out to the owners of the building for a response to the waivers.