A family of four in Arlington, Virginia, is being evicted from their apartment because they say the building's management company told them their son, who has disabilities, is too loud.
The Diaz family initially was told they need to vacate their home by Friday, Jan. 1, and then was told in an update they have until Jan. 31. They worry they'll have to go to a shelter.
Parents Deysi and Francisco Diaz say the property manager of Oakland Apartments on Columbia Pike complained that 10-year-old Elder Diaz disturbs her by shouting and singing in the apartment above hers.
Elder was severely beaten by a daycare provider when he was just 18 months old, his parents said. The attack left him with developmental disabilities, and he has seizures. But he's a happy child.
"Very caring," Deysi Diaz said through an interpreter.
The Diazes told management about Elder when they moved in and even gave management a letter from his pediatrician, Deysi Diaz said. No issue was raised then.
Elder's mother was in tears as spoke about her frustration.
"She is the only one who is annoyed by the noise my son does," she said about the property manager.
The property manager declined to comment on the eviction, citing tenants' privacy.
The company offered the Diazes a smaller apartment that would cost $400 more, which they said they could not afford, said Dennis Jaffe, a tenant advocate with the group Buyers and Renters Arlington Voice (BRAVO).
Jaffe said the property manager refuses to give the family a reference, which makes it harder for them to find a new apartment. The property manager cited other issues with the Diazes, but refused to describe them.
"She won't say what [those issues] are," Jaffe said. "She's not legally obligated to, but it's rotten."
Christmas presents for Elder and his sister, Brianna, laid under the tree unopened Tuesday. Their parents worried the children's screams of joy would disturb their neighbor.