Satellite Beach renters told to leave to make way for $1M homes

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. — A fight is growing between renters in a Satellite Beach community and developers who want to build million-dollar homes.

Renters are being told they have to leave by the end of October, even if they have leases.

The Satellite Shores community is just south of Patrick Air Force Base and across from Hightower Beach.

Tenants are frustrated because some of them signed leases a couple of months ago.

Now that the property is sold, they are being asked to pack up and leave.

While some have already started getting ready to move, others are ready to fight.

"They're all frustrated. They don't know what they're going to do," said resident Juanita Hanlon.

Hanlon said people don't want to move at all, but they are especially concerned because the management company for the new owners said they have to move out by Oct. 31.

She and some others in the community signed a 12-month lease in March.

The 27 acre site is slated to become a luxury community with home prices topping $1 million, and the developers need everyone out.

Property managers said the leases can be terminated by either party with a month's notice, but Hanlon's attorney said that clause only comes into play after the initial 12-month term is over.

He believes that means the tenants have a right to stay until their leases are up.

So far, 19 units have been vacated, but 88 remain occupied.

Some don’t plan to go anywhere.

“I think it sucks. We're not leaving. Unless they buy us out and give us a real incentive to go,” said Hanlon.

Some residents said they don’t have the money to hire an attorney, and they're having a hard time finding any place else in this area in their price range.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.