CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Tenants of a Chula Vista apartment complex rallied Sunday evening against what they say is an "illegal eviction."
They were given a notice to vacate without warning.
“I thought it was a joke. I mean, who would say you were getting out in a week’s time? I was surprised and angry,” said Jorge Sanchez.
Sanchez is one of dozens of tenants being forced to move out of their homes at the Meheli Palms Apartments on 216 H Street.
Management served them with a letter, terminating their leases with less than 10 days' notice.
The letter says it’s due to repair issues. That includes a massive amount of black mold visible in many apartments.
News 8 took pictures and videos of black mold on walls and covering pipes.
“There were several complaints made to management. Sometimes they helped. Sometimes they just painted over [the mold] and stuff like that,” Sanchez said.
Tenants were told they had to be out by 5 p.m. Sunday.
Attorneys representing them told News 8 that it was an illegal eviction and according to them, the management company was just trying to circumvent the new rent control laws in California that took effect on Jan 1.
They say these tenants would be protected, but by evicting them, the owners of the property could renovate and raise rent prices.
When News 8 went by the complex Sunday afternoon, several people were in the process of moving out but others said they had no other option but to stay.
Sanchez found an apartment but said he is now paying $500 more a month in rent.
Sanchez said she started getting sick after they first moved into Meheli Palms Apartments around 10 months ago and now believes the mold may be to blame.
“She was having health problems,” Sanchez said about his young daughter.
“She was diagnosed with pneumonia in December and everybody in the house was sick,” he said.
We reached out to the management company, Capital Growth Properties, multiple times. As of Monday morning, we have not received a response.