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Southwood Apartments residents demand repairs, prepared to withhold rent if owners don’t respond

by Nicole Dantzler/WRIC

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond residents living at Southwood Apartments are calling on property owners to make some urgent repairs.

Dozens of people gathered in front of the leasing office Tuesday to send a letter to the property owners. The petition demands a response within 14 days to residents’ requests for maintenance and repairs.

Residents said they are experiencing severe damage to ceilings, floors, and appliances. They also complained of mold and rat infestations in some apartments.

Luis Larios, the community organizer with New Virginia Majority, said they’re prepared to get the repairs done.

“The main office closed at 5:00 and we present at 4:30. Nobody opened the door, because they closed early today,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day I don’t know why they closed early. If they don’t fix that in 14 days we can contract somebody to fix the things.”

Under the state’s Repair and Deduct law, tenants can hire a contractor to fix maintenance issues and deduct the fee from their rent.

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