Tenants at risk of losing water get court appointed help

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Light at end of tunnel?
azfamily.com

UPDATE: Monday, March 9

PHOENIX - There is finally some good news for thousands of frustrated Valley renters.

Their water is still running and the garbage pick-up has finally begun all thanks, in part, to new management.

Sylvia Rodriguez tells 3TV enough is enough. "I'm concerned about my water, electricwhat do we do in the meantime?" It was a constant wonder if she and other tenants at The Coves at Newport in Glendale would have basic necessities. Rodriquez says, "If some days hot water not oncan't take a hot shower. That's not what we pay rent for."

As of Monday they no longer have to wonder. The tenants are seeing the first positive sign that bills are finally getting paid after the prior owner, Bethany Group, fell some five weeks behind.

Five of the 12 Valley apartment communities owned by Bethany Group have gone into receivership. They are now managed by a new company, 707 Management, Inc. They include Granite Bay, Valencia Park and Madera Court in Phoenix, Scottsdale Springs in Scottsdale, and The Coves at Newport in Glendale.

Nevertheless, seven remaining apartment complexes are still in limbo. Those include Alante at the Islands, Laguna Village and Crosswinds in Chandler, Sienna Springs in Phoenix, Tela Verde in Glendale and Tuscany Palms and Whispering Meadows in Mesa.

On Sunday residents of both Tela Verde and The Coves at Newport met to discuss the situation. Rodriguez did not attend. She was tending to her garden and was busy house hunting. Even though positive steps have been made, they come a little too late for her liking. She says, "In fact, that's what pushed us. We think it's a good time to buy our house. Don't want to deal with this anymore."< /p>

Transition details are still being worked out at those five locations. The management company would like to hire as many of the employees as possible.

As far as the employee's back pay issue, a 707 spokesperson says that issue will have to be addressed with the lender.

ORIGINAL STORY:

PHOENIX - The economy has gotten the best of The Bethany Group, the owner of 13 apartment complexes in the Valley

Issues with the company left renters with trash piling up and the threat of a water shut-off. On Sunday dozens of upset families met with an expert hoping to find answers and it seems there may be light at the end of the tunnel for families who say they have been left in the dark for weeks.

Thomas and Jesseca Gadson are expecting a baby in the next few months but rather than relaxing at home, they are at a meeting worried that soon they will not have a place to go home to.

Thomas tells 3TV, "It's been crazy, you know. People don't know if the hot water is going to be on or if the water in general is going to be on."

The couple lives at Tela Verde. They say The Bethany Group stopped with property maintenance weeks ago. They recently received a letter on their door that said the water would be shut off on Monday.

The Gadsons would just move, but the cash-strapped couple is having a hard time finding a new place in their price range at such sort notice. Jesseca explains, "We just paid rent...and you have to put deposits down to live somewhere and you can't do that if you just paid rent."

Ken Volk tells 3TV, "Landlords are stealing your money when they don't return your deposits." Volk is with Arizona Tenants Advocates, and he organized the event at The Coves at Newport to explain to the frustrated families their options and their rights in this situation.

However, in the middle of the meeting community managers from both The Coves and Tela Verde showed up to explain that, just this weekend, all 13 of the apartment complexes are under new management and there will be no water shut-offs.

Cameo Dawn, a manager at The Coves, said, "From here on out it's all going to be a brighter day."

Nevertheless, most of the residents remained suspicious. Justin Perry, one of the renters admits, "We better go find a place to live because I don't trust a word she says."

3TV is told the apartments were put into court-appointed receivership. The apartments are now under different companies.

Several of the properties like The Coves at Newport, Granite Bay and Scottsdale Springs are now under a management company called 707.