You Said It: What Do You Think About the Silver Oaks Evictions?

We asked, you answered

Last week 250 residents at Silver Oaks received eviction notices from Capstone Development Corp. We wanted to know what you thought about this situation.

Here is what Kent resident Jim Raymond had to say.

Chris (Kit) Myers July 27, 2011 at 08:47 PM
There are state laws regarding evictions. I suggest a real estate attorney review the tenants' leases and see what clauses are contained in them regarding the breaking of their leases by the property owner. The law is not the same for people on a month-to-month lease and people on a time specific lease. The Ohio Landlord-Tenant law is available on the web. Look it up!!!
Jon Ridinger July 27, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Excellent advice. In the end, about all these people can do is make sure their leases are honored or that they are properly compensated for the change in lease agreement. Signing a petition doesn't do much but state the obvious that residents don't want to leave now. At the very least it can give people more time to adjust and make arrangements, though from what Capstone has said, there is no "hard date" on moving out.
David Badagnani July 27, 2011 at 10:41 PM
Incorrect. There is nothing preventing this unethical Alabama company from deciding that this project they were formerly so gung-ho about is no longer worth it, and moving on, perhaps selling the property to a property management company that cares about seniors. It's never too late to admit a mistake. And from what I understand, legal action has indeed been initiated by several of the more law-savvy members of the Silver Oaks community. I guess Capstone did not expect any of the resistance the seniors are putting up! Maybe in your world, in which the almighty dollar is king, there's no such thing as a distinction between right and wrong, but in the world I live in, this eviction is simply wrong, and asking for more time simply plays into the hands of the unethical out-of-state company, who had apparently already planned the seniors would need more than 60 days to relocate, despite the fact that their eviction notices gave October 1, 2011 as the date they needed to be out.
Kathy Plute July 28, 2011 at 01:15 AM
They are getting around "breaking" leases by advising that they can stay and finish out their lease, but at the risk of potentially having major interruptions in electric and water, plus extreme noise from the demolition. Really? Other choice: get out by 10/1. It's like blackmail.
David Badagnani July 28, 2011 at 01:21 AM
Yes, Kathy, and the other thing is that Capstone is offering to pay residents' moving expenses (within a 40-mile radius), but only for those who get out by October 1, 2011. Those who leave after that date are on their own.
linda July 28, 2011 at 02:30 AM
Maybe the current residents should all apply for the renovated apartments - it is illegal to discriminate due to age! I'm saying this a little tongue-in-cheek, because I'm sure they will raise the rent. However, if legally the company has to honor the leases, they would also have to provide electricity and water without significant interruptions. I hope some of them have leases and hold their ground.
Jon Ridinger July 28, 2011 at 03:08 AM
In talking with a good friend of mine who was evicted from Silver Oaks when they first changed from a regular apartment complex to Senior Housing in the late 80s, it seems if anyone's head should be called for it's the company that sold Silver Oaks (the original owners), not Capstone. They are the ones that should've negotiated a longer grace period and/or let residents know about the potential sale of the complex (though not sure how easy that would be to actually do). Instead they dropped it on them and then let the new company take all the heat. And FYI, that same company who just sold Silver Oaks first evicted families with children from the complex in the late 80s (which is now illegal in Ohio), so this surprising sale and change doesn't seem so surprising anymore. My friend also said she recently helped another friend from our church move out of Silver Oaks and the building he left only had 1 other occupant remaining. That was a few months ago. And yes, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, but isn't a Senior Citizen Community discriminatory by nature? I don't think Capstone wouldn't rent their apartments to Seniors; but it won't be at the current rates. When something goes to "student housing" it likely means a completely different contract structure where they have individual contracts as opposed to one apartment contract. That way they can get WAY more money for 1 apartment.
David Badagnani July 28, 2011 at 03:20 AM
Great job, Jon--you're on a roll. Now everyone else is to blame except the Capstone Development Corp. You should go to the meeting tomorrow and speak on their behalf, because I think there is a good chance they'd want to hire you as their official spokesman. A few inaccuracies, though: the Tell trust that sold to Capstone was not the owner of the community at the time it was changed to senior-only; I think the owners at that time were called the Moneypenneys, if I remember correctly. Also, according to federal law (Housing and Urban Development) it is not illegal to discriminate on the basis of age in the case of senior citizens-only communities, for obvious reasons--though this is something you seem to have little sympathy for, in your sustained and vociferous defense of the out-of-town developer. Finally, the Capstone company's second letter to residents backpedaled on their original get-out-by-October-1 deadline, shifting blame to the Tell trust. The only problem with this is that the letter came from Capstone. It's clear that this company will say whatever it takes to defuse the seniors' justified indignation and get them out. Again you return to the argument that $$$ is more important than respect for our elders. I'm glad I don't live in your world. Looking forward to your next defense of the Alabamians--only try to get your facts straight before you comment next time.
Jon Ridinger July 28, 2011 at 03:34 AM
Say what you want, but the company that sold has just as much blame as anyone. Why so quiet for so long? And why were so many apartments vacant? Also, the Tell trust has been cited in other articles as the only owners of Silver Oaks. So sorry I am not an expert on everything Silver Oaks. Either way, when the change was made to senior citizens only, it was not because of a sale; it was because of $$ too. Was that right? You seem to be implying that I believe it is A-OK for these people to be thrown out on the streets. I've never said that; I've actually been thrown on the streets from a home I had far more claim on than any apartment renter ever will. At the same time, though, that IS the world we live in. I have all the sympathy in the world for these people and hope a solution is reached that works. Doesn't mean I think it will mean nothing changes; the Tell trust wouldn't have sold if everything was OK. Again, you really have to ask, why did they sell? You also imply that I'm defending that "Alabamian company" (honestly what does the state have to do with anything??). No, I'm defending private property. *Of course* it's about money! Apartments are *businesses*. And yes, I am fully aware that it is not illegal to discriminate for age when it's for senior citizens because we have countless examples of senior-only communities. Never said I don't like them or have contempt for them. You are reading far too much into my comments
Jon Ridinger July 28, 2011 at 04:14 AM
In summary, I'm not defending Capstone as much as I see myself trying to keep a logical and balanced look at the whole thing from both a business standpoint and a humanity aspect. In the end, apartment complexes *are* businesses; they exist to make money for the owners. Unless it's government housing, the complex must be profitable to survive. Again, if Silver Oaks was healthy as is, Tell would not have sold it. If they didn't sell it and money continued to be lost, the other result likely would've been it just closes all together, which would've had the same net result for residents except probably no financial assistance at all. Of course there is no easy solution. Lawsuits may force Capstone to slow renovation plans, but in the end, current residents will have to leave eventually unless another company or individual comes in with money and different ideas. I'm not saying that because I'm happy about it or *want* to see that happen; it's a statement of reality. That is the world I live in; the world of reality where we have to deal with a lot of unpleasant things every day whether we like it or not. It's the other side of that two-edged sword called "private property rights" that we have in this country. I hope humanity AND business interests can prevail together somehow, but this is a case of planning for the worst but hoping for the best.
David Badagnani July 28, 2011 at 07:21 AM
Yes, the Tell trust, when approached by Capstone and presented with the plan to evict the seniors who had been in their care for decades, should have said, "This is wrong," and instead chosen to sell to an ethical property management company that cares about seniors. However, it is never too late to admit a mistake--in this case, Capstone selling the property to such a company. In your world, though, that probably wouldn't be possible, because business is much more important than ethics. At this point, though, contrary to the way you are trying to steer the discussion, blame is not the most important thing. The most important thing is making this pitiful and embarrassing situation for our city right, and doing the right thing. Knowing how this deal went down, including the involvement of all parties, is important, however, to make sure that the surprise, mass eviction of senior citizens doesn't become a Kent tradition in the future.
Bonnie July 28, 2011 at 01:39 PM
I also agree that both capstone and the apartment complex owners are to blame. I have family who live there and are having a hard time finding a place. Also, alot of them are having to put things in storage, so is the moving company going to help them to take their things to two different places? Also they let a friends mom move in there about 5 weeks ago. She just got unpacked. Why did they let her move in?


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