A Charlotte woman said she was startled to learn she’s being evicted in the aftermath of her 21-year-old daughter and a friend twerking in the pool of their high-rise apartment complex last month, and the friend then cursing at a concierge.
Marshette Foster, who is Black, told The Charlotte Observer she believes what happened at the Element SouthPark outdoor pool across from SouthPark mall on April 30 was part of a pattern of a different concierge appearing when she and her fiance or her daughter, Alanah, and friends, go to relax in the pool.
The concierge approached her daughter on April 30 and told her someone had reported the twerking, Marshette Foster said. Alanah Foster apologized to the concierge and said they would stop, Marshette Foster told the Observer. Twerking is sexually suggestive dancing with hip thrusts and other moves.
The concierge also told Alanah Foster she had too many guests at the pool that afternoon, although Marshette Foster said she has never seen concierges tell white residents they have too many guests when they have a group of four or five on the pool deck.
Element SouthPark management said the eviction stemmed from “extremely unacceptable behaviors” by Alanah Foster and her guests that also included fighting. In a statement, officials said they’re proud of the diversity of Element SouthPark residents and employees.
Marshette Foster pictured on Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Charlotte. Foster is fighting her and her daughter’s eviction from their Element SouthPark apartment.
Foster, a senior manager at a national health insurer, said she pays $2,600 for a two-bedroom apartment in the complex on Sharon Road. She and her daughter have lived there since July.
On April 30, Foster said, her daughter’s friend became angry and cursed at the concierge when told their group was too large. She got angry because the concierge didn’t order the same thing for three groups of four or five white people on the pool deck that day, Foster said.
The concierges provide resident services, responding to their calls when they need or want to report something.
Last Monday, Foster said, Element SouthPark’s property manager told her she was being evicted because of the vulgarity used by her daughter’s guest. “That’s egregious,” Foster said she told the property manager.
Foster said she asked to speak with his supervisor. She left a phone message for the supervisor and received an email reply Tuesday that claimed there was more behind the eviction.
Management’s response to Foster
Foster provided the Observer a copy of the email she received from Jennifer Kubitz, regional property manager for Greystar, the community’s developer/manager.
“Over the past 48 hours, I have received several videos of the behaviors/activities of Alanah and her guests at the pool and through the hallways over the weekend,” Kubitz said in the email.
Management has “an extensive list of witness accounts not only from residents but also from employees,” Kubitz wrote. “All witness accounts are supported by the recordings received.
“We have had an employee report that one of the guests used inappropriate aggressive language which made them uncomfortable. Because of the nature of these recordings, we are unable to forward because there are other residents and minors in them.”
The email didn’t mention twerking or sexually suggestive moves.
Marshette Foster and her daughter, Alanah Foster, question their eviction notice from their Element SouthPark high-rise apartment.
‘Public nudity, fighting’ allegations
Element SouthPark’s management, in a statement to the Observer on Thursday, said company officials have video of additional incidents of disruptive behavior by Alanah Foster and her guests.
“Resident statements and video show the resident and her guests performing acts of public nudity, fighting, and other extremely unacceptable behaviors for any of our residents to witness, but it is especially unacceptable due to the presence of small children,” Element SouthPark said.
“We are proud to be a diverse community with residents and team members from all backgrounds,” according to the statement. “Our community amenities are for the enjoyment of all residents.
“After several resident complaints regarding the actions that occurred in our amenity spaces, we were obligated to enforce the lease which each resident signs and agrees to when moving into our community.”
Foster told the Observer that the fighting, nudity and claims about other unacceptable behavior are false. Her daughter wearing a string bikini isn’t nudity, she added.
“They’re making us out to be unkempt, uncouth, that we don’t follow the rules,” she said. “It’s not true. It’s like they’re fabricating.”
The rules at the apartment complex “are not being applied fairly across the board,” Foster said.
The Observer asked Element SouthPark about Foster’s various claims, and received Thursday’s statement in response. The statement did not address specific claims.
Marshette Foster on Thursday, May 5, 2022 in Charlotte, looking out from her fourth-floor apartment at Element SouthPark in south Charlotte.
False claim of sex in the pool, renter says
Foster said the concierge incidents began shortly after she and her daughter moved to Element SouthPark in July. Her lease is set to expire in August, she said.
Someone complained the month Foster moved in about her having five guests at the pool, although the community hadn’t yet established a guest limit, she said. Other incidents followed, she said, including:
▪ A concierge approached Foster on the pool deck in late July or early August to inform her that someone reported seeing her having sex in the pool. “I looked at the video, and you were not having sex in the pool,” Foster said the concierge told her. “We’re sorry this happened.”
▪ A concierge asked Foster’s daughter at the pool one afternoon in August if she was a resident.
▪ A concierge approached her daughter later that month to ask if everything was OK, then telling her, “I received a call to come check the pool.” Foster said her daughter asked the concierge, “Why every time we’re at the pool a concierge checks on us?”
“I’m sorry, I was just told to come check the pool,” Foster said the concierge replied.
▪ An intoxicated white female guest punched Foster’s daughter in the mouth on Jan. 9, causing her to bleed. Alanah Foster had just returned late at night from her shift at a pizzeria, her mother told the Observer. Both the intoxicated guest and the intoxicated resident she was with thought Alanah Foster was holding up the line of cars trying to get through the parking gate, but the gate was broken.
Marshette Foster called 911 after the guest hit her daughter, and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer arrived. The officer interviewed the intoxicated women but no charges were filed, Foster said. The officer instead gave the Fosters information on how to file a charge against the woman, Marshette Foster said.
The Fosters drove to the Mecklenburg County Magistrate’s office in uptown Charlotte in February, where Alanah Foster said she gave sworn testimony before a judge. Because of COVID delays, the judge told her, she might not hear back for a couple of months on next steps she could take in the criminal justice system.
In an April 4 letter from the Charlotte Dispute Settlement Program that Alanah Foster received only a few days ago, Alanah Foster said she was given the choice of mediation or a trial before a judge in her simple-assault case. She intends to notify the program that she wants to go through the courts, not mediation.
Marshette Foster also provided a copy of the police report of the incident to the Observer. The report lists Alanah Foster as the victim, and says she also was bruised and scratched.
▪ In March, a guest in the clubhouse asked Foster, who was playing pool, if she lived there. The guest also asked which building and apartment she lived in, Foster said. He told her he asked because “sometimes you never know,” Foster said.
“But I can’t get into the clubhouse without a key fob,” she told the Observer.
The eviction notice
On Friday, Jordan Howell, Element SouthPark’s community manager, emailed Foster a copy of the eviction notice and put a copy under the door of her fourth-floor apartment, Foster said. Foster forwarded the email to the Observer.
Element SouthPark will begin legal proceedings if she was not out by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 8, Howell wrote.
Foster said she retained Charlotte lawyer Shawntae Crews, who advised her to remain in the apartment beyond Sunday’s deadline as she files legal papers to contest the eviction in court. Element SouthPark, as with any landlord seeking an eviction in North Carolina, must get a court’s OK, Crews told her, before an eviction can proceed.