Moving to a new place is always fraught with pitfalls even under the best circumstances. But one TikToker is going viral after reporting her nightmare of a moveout experience. She says that her complex took all of her belongings from her apartment. And then threw them away.
Tattoo artist and Virginia Beach resident @pinesandneedlestattoo had moved into the Dwell at Chics Beach apartment complex last year after she left her former apartment due to a conflict with a roommate. She got a new lease at another apartment in Virginia Beach with a Nov. 11 move-in date. Her move out date for the Dwell apartment was Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving.
That’s when her problems began according to the video she posted two days ago. The video currently has more than 221,000 views. @pinesandneedlestattoo says she contacted Dwell management to see if her move out date could be moved up to not pay for both apartments simultaneously.
“I get an email back from [the manager] saying, ‘Absolutely not. Under no circumstance can we move your lease end date forward. You will be responsible for rent until the 22nd.'” So she began moving her things into her new apartment on Nov. 11 as planned. By the Nov. 12 she still had a “truckload of stuff” at her old apartment. “I was exhausted, I have to work the whole week,” she said in the video.
She opted to wait until the following Sunday to complete the move. But when she returned she noticed the lock on her apartment had been changed. However, the door had been left unlocked. When she entered the place she made an awful discovery.
@pinesandneedlestattoo Its fine everythings fine #dwellatchicsbeach #virginiabeach #illegaleviction #theft #landlordtenantproblems #chicsbeach ♬ original sound – pinesandneedlestattoo
“The way my stomach sank to my butt when I saw all my stuff completely gone,” she told her viewers. “Everything has been cleaned out of the apartment. The carpets were cleaned. Everything was ready for the next tenant.”
She states that when she reached out to the management she was told that due to a “system error,” her things had been removed from the apartment and thrown away due to it being abandoned.
According to the Virginia legal code, “If any items of personal property are left in the dwelling unit, the premises, or any storage area provided by the landlord after the rental agreement has terminated and delivery of possession has occurred, the landlord may consider such property to be abandoned.”
However, on the date she returned to her apartment to remove her remaining belongings, Nov. 19, her lease was still in effect.
“They say, ‘We’re so sorry this happened, we can credit your account $500.'” However, she says, “I have a long-haired dog and my pet vacuum costs $500. Let alone everything else I had in that apartment. No one told me that they were going to be entering my apartment, changing locks, or anything. They shouldn’t have been doing any of that before my lease is up.”
She states that she works for a real estate firm and has contacted their property management division regarding her situation. “I understand mistakes happen but there are too many mistakes that happened here to call it a mistake,” she said.
Many of the video’s viewers are suggesting the tenant take legal action.
Dawn Michele (@shabumilover) wrote “Pick a lawyer and get the case filed. It seems like you have all your ducks in a row. Photos and emails are amazing. I’m so sorry this happened.”
“If they KNEW you didn’t drop off keys yet, they should’ve CALLED you. Not take it upon themselves to enter and throw away your thing,” one viewer responded.
One viewer added, “Don’t sign anything. Even if you abandoned it , they can’t throw it away for a period of time. They owe you full value for their error.”
Another wrote, “You gotta sue. you’ll win. your attorney will ask the landlord’s attorneys for fees, so you shouldn’t have to pay too much out of pocket. Worth it!”
The tenant responded, “Honestly that’s what it’s looking like, I just really don’t want to deal with the hassle of taking time off work and going to court.”
The Daily Dot reached out to pinesandneedlestattoo via TikTok and the Dwell at Chics Beach for comment.