Police chief calls threatening letter to tenants 'shameful'
Several tenants in Nitro received a threatening letter from their property manager.
It reads in part: "while many of you may have income taxes, savings or are expecting the stimulus from the government, we just want to remind everyone In order to stay in your unit, rent must be paid on time."
WSAZ brought the letter to Nitro Police Chief Bobby Eggleton who called the notice, "shameful and appalling."
"if somebody needs something, don't serve them an eviction notice, serve them dinner," Eggleton said.
He tells WSAZ he also got another letter about a complex that was telling residents they couldn't have visitors, which is unenforceable.
"When we have these type of situations where ends can't be met, they need to be worried about two things, their health and their stomach," Eggleton said.
Last week President Trump announced his administration will suspend foreclosures and evictions on homeowners -- at least until the end of the month.
In a statement from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it said it would apply to homeowners with federal housing insured mortgages. But many renters wonder if those same considerations would be passed down to them.
"We're telling you, don't send these letters out to people," Eggleton said. "Don't threaten these people. Don't put fear into these people That's not right, that's not right, us as human beings should never do that."
Chief Eggleton says since court proceedings have been halted in West Virginia and most of the region, they won't be serving eviction notices for now.
"Have a heart," Eggleton said. "Especially in times like this, have a heart."
In an exclusive interview with WSAZ Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice said he would help residents in any way he can.
"The eviction of someone right now, I don't know how it could possibly be any more wrong to do something like that," Justice said.
We also spoke with a local property manager who explained, it's crucial that you have an honest conversation with your landlord about your situation if your income has been impacted.
Likely they'll be understanding and are dealing with a similar experience.
"You might be little ragged around the edges, but you'll still get to the other side in one piece," said P.C. Pancake with Pancake Realty Company.
Working out some form of payment plan is the best course of action.
"Everybody needs a safe, decent place to live," Pancake said.
Especially when most of the country is being told to stay at home and avoid large crowds to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.