A Texas property manager trying to evict a tenant accidentally emptied the wrong apartment, but then things took a rather interesting turn.
According to KDFW-TV, a Dallas man named Johnny Abney returned home from work one day in July to find the door to his apartment at The Hamilton unlocked and the contents cleared out and thrown in a dumpster
They had been cleared out by the management of the high-end apartment complex The Hamilton, who had taken the contents out of Abney’s apartment by mistake. They had intended to empty the apartment next door to evict that tenant.
A leasing agent said, “There was a misunderstanding, and maintenance accidentally cleared out Abney’s unit” instead of the correct unit next door.
After dumping the items in the dumpster, they were picked over by the other residents of the complex. Abney was distraught when he found out what had happened to his things.
“They came to my door and cleaned everything out from my clothes to my daughter’s clothes, toothbrush, bathing items, pretty much left me with nothing,” he said.
The management was initially very apologetic when they found out what happened. They told Abney that it had been a mistake and asked if there was anything they could do to help.
But things quickly changed when they found out who Abney was.
It turns out Abney and his 9-year-old daughter were living in an apartment that had actually been leased to Abney’s ex-girlfriend, who had since moved out of Texas. Abney had been subletting the apartment without permission.
Abney had been paying the rent — nearly $3,000 — every month, but because his name was not on the lease, the management legally could not let him stay unless he filled out his own rental application.
“We are [bound] by law. We cannot discuss anything with you or anybody who is not [on] her lease,” the apartment manager said.
Twenty-four hours after issuing the ultimatum, they issued Abney an eviction notice.
Abney is now working with an attorney to fight the eviction, arguing that it should not matter that his name was not on the lease, since he had been paying the rent to the apartment manager every month.
“Imagine having to tell your child that her favorite toy was gone, that her baby photos were forever lost, the back-to-school supplies she’d lovingly chosen were tossed, and that her new school uniforms were gone – it was a parent’s nightmare,” Abney said in his lawsuit, which seeks $200,000 to $1 million in compensation, the Dallas Morning News reported.
This situation is really unfortunate, and no one really wins when these things happen. Oftentimes, when it comes to situations like these, there is a human element that gets lost, as it comes down to the fine print that not everyone understands.
Abney does not appear to have been a bad tenant. By all accounts, he paid his rent and did nothing to harm either the management or the other residents of the complex.
Unfortunately, in this case, the property managers have their hands tied by the law. It does not seem as if they want to evict Abney; it is more that they have to.
This is really just sad to see, and hopefully, things can be resolved.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.