A teenager skateboards at The Brittany Apartments
A notice from apartment management to residents about the new policy
Burlington, NC -- Residents of an apartment complex in Burlington said a new policy requires them to be with their children anytime the kids step foot outside their door.
Anyone 18 years-old or younger at the Brittany Apartments must have a parent with them. Every time that rule is broken, the parents must pay $100, residents said.
Frenchy Williams said she received a $100 fine Thursday after her 14-year-old son walked a short distance to a friend's apartment. The fine comes two days after she said she was notified of the new policy. She said management expects her to pay the fine by Friday.
"We're paying rent for our kids to be in prison, basically," she said.
Her friend, fellow resident and parent Rachel Rodgers, also received a fine.
"I feel they should be allowed to go to the bus stop without me being there," Rodgers said.
"They used to go check my mailbox. They can't go check my mailbox, because I have to accompany them to the mailbox. To the trash can, everywhere they go I have to be with them at all times and it's not fair to them," Williams said.
A notice from management said the policy stems from vandalism and misconduct by children.
Rodgers said she does not think the new policy will help.
"I don't think for sure that it's the kids here," she said.
Rodgers plans to fight her fine.
"Sometimes as a parent, we kind of get emotional, because these are our babies. Let the attorney handle it because they're on the outside looking in," she said.
WFMY News 2 reached out to apartment management multiple times Thursday, but did not immediately get a response.
Mary Gwyn, who is not associated with the management of the complex, but does manage other properties and consults and trains apartment owners through Apartment Dynamics, said residents in cases like this should register their complaint in writing.
She said they should review their lease. Some contracts state rules and regulations are subject to change, which is the case for Williams and Rodgers. Gwyn also said leases may or may not allow fees for non-physical damage.
Gwyn said management should not threaten their customers. She said residents want to be respected and feel engaged in improving their community. She said other solutions to preventing vandalism in this case could include community meetings, watch groups and police involvement.
WFMY News 2