Myrtle Beach motel forces tenants to move out on short notice, dozens with no place to live

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A downtown Myrtle Beach motel is closing its doors for good, leaving dozens of people searching for a place to live.

The Aquarius Motel, located off Mr. Joe White Avenue near Ocean Boulevard, is permanently shutting their doors on Thursday under short notice.

Tenants said an unexpected letter was placed on all the doors last week informing people they only had eight days to move out.

People living at the Aquarius Motel said they paid weekly but staying long term was encouraged by management as several tenants were also motel employees.

Among tenants is a four-year resident, Cynthia Churley, who lives at the motel for convenience and comfort.

“I work right over at the pancake house and have a one-bedroom apartment near the laundry room, which I like even better, and I’ve made it my home,” Churley said.

Another tenant and employee, Paula Dudding, moved to the motel to be closer to her family.

Dudding explained the manager wanted employees to stay at the motel and said as long as they worked and paid rent, they would always have a place to stay.

“We told her we would stay and work… and all of the sudden, we get a note saying get out, you no longer have a job,” Dudding said.

On Wednesday, they’ll have just one more day to pack their bags, and most have nowhere to go.

“It’s just an outcry because they just took our money basically and just wanted to say ok y’all on the street now during the middle of a pandemic,” motel resident Ryan Rembert said.

There are five separate buildings apart from the Aquarius Motel, and according to employees and people currently living at the motel. Tenants are only living in the back two spaces.

Several families, children and employees say they have lived there for years and currently occupy the motel rooms.

“We feel like we should have gotten an eviction notice. You should have done it the legal way. Don’t try to be sneaky about it,” Dudding said.

Tenants and workers now search for answers and more time, in the middle of the pandemic and just weeks away from Christmas.

Several people at the Aquarius Motel are spending the holiday out of a home, a job and with little money or options.

“There should be no way you should be able to kick somebody out at the last minute, or if you were going to shut something down, you should let people know ahead of time and not tell them just a week before you’re closing stuff down,” Aquarius Motel Resident, Ryan Rembert said.

WBTW reached out to the manager and they had no comment in-person and on the phone.

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