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Tenants concerned over release to get back rent

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Posted at 6:42 PM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 18:44:25-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla-- The Alexander Lofts residents who were displaced for nearly a week say they’re facing a new problem.

About two weeks ago, parts of the brick wall collapsed forcing about 70 tenants out of their apartments for nearly a week.

The residents want to get some of their rent money back for the week they were displaced. However, the tenants say in order to get reimbursed, they have to sign a release. And some of the residents say the document is making them them sign away too many of their rights.
 
We spoke with one resident who did not want to be named, fearing consequences from the management company.

He says, "I am not signing."

For some, that partial rent reimbursement is more than 300 dollars. However, in order to get back that money, the residents say Ram Realty, the management company, wants them to sign the release.

"We're giving them all the rights to do what they want and we cannot even speak," said the tenant.  
 
The residents fear the document makes them give up too much. They're concerned it would prohibit them from filing any future lawsuits or even talking negatively about the Lofts online.

Our News Channel 5 legal analyst says the document is vague and that there is a confidentiality agreement included.

Ram Realty responded to some of these concerns later on. Ram says the residents will get reimbursed for the hotels no matter what. The company spokesperson saying, "Residents, whether they sign the release or not, are free to post whatever they like as long as it is true. We have a number of residents that are happy with the way we have handled what was an unfortunate and unforeseen circumstance. We are working hard to make every resident happy." 

The spokesperson also said the release does not prohibit the residents from suing in the future over an unrelated incident.

The residents are back in the building and crews continue to work on the repairs.