Residents asked to sign document releasing apartment complex of liability


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist ROBERT McMURREY

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on January 1, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 1 at 8:02 PM

AUSTIN -- Fire destroyed 68 units in the International Residence apartments four days before Christmas.

Former resident Lisa Jenkins said those who lost their homes are being asked to sign a document releasing the complex of any liability.

Jenkins said if they don't sign, they don't get their deposit or pro-rated rent back.

"We would not get our money back and we would be liable for January's rent and other fees, parking. Which is a kick in the teeth because both our vehicle were destroyed in the fire also," Jenkins said.

Lisa and her husband Reginald, decided not to sign.

"It just reads on and on that they're basically not responsible for anything that happened. Now why would they be doing that when your deposit has nothing to do with that. That's your money. That prorated rent is your money," Reginald Jenkins told KVUE.

Reginald said residents are told they have to sign to get out of their lease on homes which are destroyed.

"That was part of the gist, basically threatening that if you don't sign that, that you are going to be responsible for the rest of the lease," said Jenkins.

Jenkins said he was told he'd be reported to credit agencies if he didn't pay.
"All these people who felt they needed to get that money back, just signed away all their rights to recover anything they lost," said Lisa.

The couple also isn't getting their pet fee returned. Plus, they said they haven't been allowed back to see if they can salvage anything. They said they wanted to look for some of their jewelry. 

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