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North Carolina Lawyers Serving the Public Interest.

Van Arnam's involvement results in improved housing conditions

Early in 2007, a very frustrated divorced mother of 3 children living in an apartment complex in a small NC town asked Legal Aid of NC (LANC) for help. She and her children had lived in 3 different apartments in the same apartment complex, and each apartment had been flooded when plumbing pipes burst. Due to her very small income from her job, the client had no funds to replace her family's ruined personal property and no money to move them into better circumstances. Further, the client's renter's insurance had been cancelled because of the size and frequency of her perfectly legitimate claims, and the apartment owner refused to reimburse her for her personal property or to make other than cosmetic repairs to the leaking pipes. This client had also reported that at least 10 other tenants were having the same experience she had with the flooding. Sure enough, another low-income tenant came to Legal Aid with an identical complaint. Fortunately for both these clients, Robert C. Van Arnam of the Hunton & Williams Raleigh office agreed to provide assistance to these clients. Within 90 days, Rob had persuaded the owners of the apartment to reimburse these clients for the full amount they requested so that they could replace their damaged property. That result alone would have been a very happy ending to the story, but there was more to come. In March 2008, Rob learned that the greater result of his efforts is that the apartment owners have replaced all the plumbing in the complex, thereby improving the quality of available housing to low-income individuals in one rural township.

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