Until students learned their dream apartments wouldn’t be ready in time for the fall move-in, and some received notice that their leases had been terminated.
Residents received an email on June 27 explaining that LUX, an apartment complex located on a 9.13-acre site along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, would not be completed in time for the Aug. 17 move-in date. The email laid out two options for residents: they could be put up in hotels or could terminate their leases.
But last week, some UNC students planning on living in LUX received another email from Trinitas, LUX’s developer. That email, only sent to certain residents, served as notice to select residents that their leases had been terminated.
“Despite tireless efforts put forth by the contractors in Chapel Hill, areas of our building will not be completed in the manner that holds true to expectation,” the email sent to certain residents last week states. “This means that at this time we are forced to release some of our incoming residents from their lease obligations.”
A provision in LUX residents’ leases, obtained by The Daily Tar Heel, explicitly states LUX is responsible for putting residents up in alternative accommodations if there is a delay greater than 14 days — but the same provision also allows LUX to terminate the lease, if it is more than 30 days before the estimated beginning of their lease term.
Travis Vencel, the vice president of development at Trinitas, said 25 people received a termination notice.
“Those are 25 people who were assigned specific units on the far eastern side of the building that we do not believe are going to be done on time,” Vencel said. “So that’s why we terminated them.”
Charlie Austin, an economics major, said he was angry he wasn’t given an explanation when his lease was terminated. The day he received the email, Austin said he had called LUX’s Franklin Street office to ask about his hotel assignment. But instead of a hotel assignment, his lease was terminated.
“They showed no concern in making someone homeless one month before the start of school, especially after reassuring everyone a couple of weeks before that we would be placed in hotels,” he said.
Moving on, moving in
“There is no intention to terminate any more leases,” Vencel said. “It’s our belief we can accommodate everyone else.”
He said LUX is rapidly approaching the end of construction, but there are parts of the building that will not be finished before move-in.
“As always, there will be little items that are not done for some time that we just continue to work on,” Vencel said. “We’re just slightly behind schedule from where we wanted to be.”
As for Austin, he’s found an apartment a few miles from campus — and he said he wishes he could have the newness and the proximity of LUX.
“I did have to compromise on location and definitely on quality of the complex,” Austin said. “I chose LUX because it was going to be a new, quality apartment in walking distance to campus.”
Contact the desk editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.