Mayfair Mews residents left scrambling after lease termination notice

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Mayfair Mews off Birdneck Road is set to be demolished, and redeveloped, at some point in the near future.

Residents, many of whom lived at the complex when a Navy jet crashed into it in 2012, say they don’t want to leave.

“I’ve been through a lot,” said Tracy Shaw. “I lost my townhouse on the other side of here, and still came back.”

Shaw lost everything in the crash and has since rebuilt. Joanie Coleman, 83, has lived at the complex for 18 years.

“I’m just devastated,” said Coleman. “I never expected this to happen.”

Three weeks after finding a notice tied to their door knobs, residents met to discuss their options.

“It’s an ethical situation,” said Jeannine Anderson, another resident. “It doesn’t feel right to us.”

The letter from Covington and Associates, which is the developer and management company, says residents must be out July 31.

“This notice is in accordance with the terms of your lease and provides you with more than three months time to make plans for alternative living arrangements,” said the letter is signed by Joe Covington, the company’s president.

Shaw went ahead and found a place to live. She sent a letter to Covington a week later saying she would be out of the apartment by July 1.

“I was excited to go ahead and move out,” explained Shaw. “I sent them saying I wanted to move out, and they sent me saying, no, you have to finish out until the day before they cut off the water.”

Amanda Jones of Covington wrote back saying Shaw must abide by her lease, which requires her to give 90 days notice. Jones also said in the email to Shaw that her lease was legally binding and she would be responsible for all rents until July 31.

Coleman, on the other hand, doesn’t want to leave Mayfair Mews. Her lease doesn’t end until March 2017. She’s on a fixed income and she feels Covington should pay for her to move to another apartment.

“I can’t afford that,” said Coleman.

Residents are concerned about finding places to live within their price range. Plus, they need security deposits back to help with the move. But, Covington said in the letter to residents that apartments would need to be inspected, and then deposits would be returned within 30 days.

“What is there to inspect? You’re demolishing these,” said Shaw. “But, yet you want to hold on to my security deposit? And then what? Then after 30 days I’m going to wait for it in the mail, and it might not come.”

Covington and Associates hasn’t returned 10 On Your Side’s call for comment on the situation.

Residents could use the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act if they choose to resolve the issues in court.

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