PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The past few months have been stressful and confusing for Rebecca Billings and her husband, who are being forced to move out of their East Bluff home of four years by property manager Darwin Homes.

Darwin Homes marked Jan. 31 as the day for residents to move out of their homes. Billings said she paid Darwin $100 to apply for a new residence. However, Darwin required a co-signer with a credit score about 700 and five times the rent in monthly income.

“I’m not able to eat, I’m stressed out… We just can’t move like they think we can,” said Billings. “It’s not that we’re not looking. It’s not like we’re trying not to comply with us being moved out. But why would you move people out in the middle of winter for renovation purposes?”

Billings said she was told they wouldn’t be held for any damages to the property because of the renovations, but still has not received her rental deposit. It’s money she needs to be able to find a new place.

“It’s hard to find a place and they are holding on to the deposit. They want the address we are moving to and then they will give us to the deposit,” she explained.

Billings said Darwin’s assistant property manager granted them an extension to the end of February, although not in writing.

However, she had to rush home from work on Tuesday after her husband called to tell her someone had arrived trying to change the locks.

“I guess there was no communication between the property manager Darwin Homes and [property owner] SFR3 because they were here to change locks on our doors and didn’t realize someone was still living here,” she said.

Joe Dulin, director of community development of the City of Peoria, said even if people don’t move out by the expected date, they still have options.

“The important thing to know is the notice to vacate is not an eviction notice. No one is going to come and forcibly remove them from the property. They still have to go through the legal channels,” he said.

Billings said the entire experience has been stressful, stating its inhumane to kick people out in the winter.

“We’re paying them rent in the time that we’re here. What’s the big thing? We’re paying you money to stay here. We’re not expecting to stay here for free,” she said.

Billings said even if they found a place right now, they wouldn’t be able to move out safely with the ice and snow everywhere. Her husband is also recovering from brain surgery.

“We just need a little more time and it’s going to work out somehow,” she said.