Illegal eviction of disabled tenant

By anonymous

I am seeking advice.  I am disabled and use a wheelchair sometimes.  I was denied access to the gate in front of my unit for 4 months. Landlord didn’t care, asked for Dr. note, still didn’t believe me.  Fire marshal made him disable broken lock to allow tenants safe access to gate.  Then the AC kept breaking. turns out owner knows system is failing for yrs.    I asked about breaking lease because of heat, because my disease was getting worst without AC.  Now the  landlord is threatening to me to bring me in court for breaking lease and asking for 1 month rent. He lost the rent check!  In court we all agreed that I would get out asap but no date was given to me.  Then landlord threatened sheriff eviction.  Then with no AC and packing my kids had to call 911, chest pain.  Dr. said it was heat stroke and the stress but ECG not normal so see cardiologist too.  6 days after I came back from hospital,  landlord made us removed from the house.  We were given 10 minutes  to get some things and get out.  I did have city inspector who had helped with gates and he sent someone from city to make landlord let us back in .  Its a long story but here is my question.  Doesn’t it sound like I have a strong legal case and should I sue for medical bills, stress, etc… and how can I find a GOOD attorney to help on contingency who can make the landlord understand about the proper eviction laws.?  It seems like no lawyer wants to help if I mention landlord tenant issue.  My Dr. said they almost tried to kill me and we have a strong case.  Now I am homeless living at daughter’s place until I find a place. But now with this eviction process, I am worried about even getting another rental.  That horrid place has ruined my life in just 7 months.  Any advice from any one would be greatly appreciated.  thank you.

Edited on: Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 1:51 pm

6 Responses to “Illegal eviction of disabled tenant”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)
 

BlackCloud

August 28th, 2010 8:30 am

Don’t bother with ‘regular’ lawyers, look for ones that deal with the disabled and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA violations are usually serious matters, and a lot of judges don’t even want to deal with the eviction of a disabled person. Not having access to your gate was an ADA violation. If you are elderly, you have even more rights and protections. Not maintaining the heat and air conditioning is a violation of landlord’s duties and responsibilities (provided he was informed). ‘Losing’ the rent check is NOT the same as you not paying rent. Make sure you get a copy of your check from the bank (if you don’t have a receipt from the landlord), and make sure it wasn’t actually cashed. ‘Threatening’ eviction with the sheriff is NOT the same as doing so. The court did not give a date for you to vacate, so there was no judgment or order of your eviction. The landlord can only FORCIBLY evict you with a court order and the Sheriff physically present. Even before that, you must be served notice of eviction, and can contest it in court–where even if you lose, the judge will usually give you a reasonable amount of time to move out, especially if disabled. It sounds like many law violations–any attorney who works on ADA violation cases should take this, most will do a free consultation (so talk to a few before choosing one–get one that you feel good about and who will work hard to get your case through), and many will do it pro bono (for free unless they win). Document everything you can, gather witnesses, and maybe even talk with other tenants who live there and can support you concerning the landlord’s behavior. You should be able to collect for your costs of moving, medical, ADA violations, and other things, but the big thing would be the punitive damages–the mental stress, emotional distress, physical pain and danger to your health and well-being. Those are the damages that run into the millions, which is why an ambitious lawyer should be more than willing to take the case. A fight between an abused disabled (and elderly?) person vs. a documented ‘slum lord’ should be a slam-dunk. Even the media and the public will be on your side… just be sure to get and talk with your attorney before talking with the press.


Enrique

January 6th, 2011 12:02 pm

I strongly suggest that you do take this case to court to the highest extent. There are very strong issues that are being violated, and the landlord thinks that you will just give up because of no legal representation. These issues happen alot everywhere without any public exposure to these issues, because in my opinion a good amount of lawyers look at it as too much work. In some issues they know the person taken to court, have law firms best clients are affliated that will make them lose more money than it’s worth. But don’t use a law firm from the same state, because they all know each other. Definetly get a good amount of media attention towards the issue, but consult your lawyer before you tell your part of the story. Becasuse it can back-fire on the you by just saying the wrong words that will make it seem like your slandering his character. But in these days that we live in with alot of social networking, you can get alot of opinions on FaceBook by doing polls. The more comments that agree with you by the world will help out others out there experiencing similar issuses, but will encourage the disabled individuals all over too stop taking the safe route by not speaking their mind & continue to be stepped on. I was in a similiar issue this past summer when my AC in my apartment malfunctioned & it was about 90 degrees in my apartment w/ my ice maker malfunctioned also!!!. These apartments are owned by HUD & Walton Rehabilitation Hospital in Augusta, GA. Since I’m a Quadraplegic and I can’t sweat with the heat stays in my body. A very deadly experience which was very ironic that it was cooler outside! Walton Rehabilitation is very cheap because they really want you to call during office hours 8 AM – 3 PM, so they don’t have to pay OverTime. When maintenance got to my apartment, and added freon which he said that it had an amount of 93 in it & filled it to 97. And it should be cooler within an hour, but also to not call that late of an evening (IT WAS 5:30 PM EST WHEN I CALLED!) because the hospital doesn’t like to pay OverTime. Since it was Friday traffic was bad around that time, and I told him that I would call no matter what. And I didn’t want to experience a “Heat Stroke”, and then he opened the freezer saw no ice & said that the ice maker was broken. Then he was rushing towards the front door with all the sweat from the extreame heat that was because my military family that I luckily get to see were temporarily staying for a couple of weeks. That’s why it was 90 degrees in my 2 bedroom apartment, with a body count of 5. My ice maker would be ordered Monday and should be in no later than the upcoming Thursday. When my PCA(Personal Care Assistant) arrived at 7 PM EST, she said the heat literally slapped her in the face & then I checked the thermostat with a reading of 89 after 2 hours!!! I then called the after hours phone number again to inform them that it wasn’t getting cooler at all. And once again maintenance came back and injected more freon, but this time he didn’t have any freon & said that the filter was clogging the air to flow right. Now I’m not an air condition repair man, but that didn’t make sense at all. It finally got cool at 2 AM EST to about 75, then around 10 AM EST back to 88. Called them back again, came back with freon. Then from 88 to 92. I called my ICWP case manager to see her experience it, she called & here comes more freon and blaimed it on 5 bodies in the apartment. More guessing on their end, then went to get more ice & got a good isolating fan that helpled out. Now on day 5 talked to the property manager “Debroah Blair” that said it was the amount of bodies in the apartment. Then they used their heads & brought a window unit placed in the front window that maintained 76 degress. But it’s much more, but the NEW AC didn’t arrive until 2 weeks later with faulty installation from Busby Heating & Air. I have plenty of media documentation & when the Maintenance came from Walton Rehabilitation Hospital. Why did he have to bring his 16 month old baby? You should have seen him at the door with a baby crying in a car seat & cigarette in the other. It was a Koda moment!!! Email me (enrique2020@comcast.net) or I’ll post the “Most Shocking Information” on this site. Especially when the main person at Walton: Beth Miller stated I would only have to pay a pro-rated amount for the next month’s rent. Yes, it was a lie & she didn’t have the initiative to call to tell me. She had one of her underlings call & say that if they pro-rated my rent it wouldn’t be fair to the others that only had no AC for a maximum of 4 days. But they had received a window unit & fans the 1st day!!!


BARBARA ERICKSON

May 7th, 2011 9:59 pm

We are a couple who became disabled just (2) years after moving into an apartment on the (3rd) floor on a month to monath lease in a 55 + Senior Complex residense in the category of independant living. After both of us were becoming more disabled, losing our ability to get around without a wheelchair, we asked the manager to allow us to move to the first floor when a unit became available in a 76 unit complex. We lived infirm in physical health for nine years on the third floor apartment and never once were we given a chance to move to the first floor. WE request to change to a safer level was ignored and after (9) years renting on time in good standing, we were handed a (2) month eviction notice, totally by surprise. The notice gave us only (2) months to leave and if we were not out with all belongings a lawsuit demanding a $600. charge against us would follow and all belongings left would be confiscated from us. We are both severely disabled on a fixed income and can no longer afford the a mount required to move to another place suitalbe to our physical needs. We were told the reason for the eviction was the manager was annoyed that they were too frequently asked to unlock the front door when visitors came to see us. Because we became unable to go unlock it ourselves to let our guests in. We relied upon a kind neighbor on the 2nd floor to go and unlock the door for our guests. Only occasionally, our neighbor would be out and so the visitor would go ask the manager to let them in. This was our only complaint that we did no longer met independant living standards. We did have a caregiver who could unlock the front door during the day, but there was always that occasionaly guest who could not get in. We cannot afford assistant living and nor can we afford a convelesant hospital, nor desire to live in either alternative type life style. We came here to live our remaining years and found the rent affordable. Moving now would present an unbearable hardship on our health. We feel this eviction could be removed if we spoke to the actual owner and made a complaint against the management. We do not know if a lawyer could help overturn this harsh judgement against us, when we can other wise manage our lives with the help of caregivers.


lisa

December 2nd, 2011 12:18 pm

I am renting. A place. With another. Person. The landlord. Is. Going. To evocated me for no reason. I am disabled. And living. With. A Guy. That. Work s for. Him. There. Is. No. Heat. Can he do this. Because. I am disabled ___


Ian Tabler

May 31st, 2012 3:25 pm

I got an eviction notice posted on my door last night saying I must leave within 60 days. I am epileptic, legally disabled, and on SSI. I am unable to put a move together with my limited resources and without a license. The stress is causing my condition to worsen and I need to know what to do to get the longest possible amount of latitude in terms of vacating the house. The rights are clear but the approach is where I am seeking to figure out. What do I do? I need an amount of time that cannot be predetermined and if I ask for an extension how long is reasonable here? Should I contest this right before I am to move out or right away? in 60 days I will be on a couch somewhere having seizures triggered by poor sleep and is this grounds to at least not be penilized for refusing to vacate. Do financial limitations caused by disability hold weight in a case? I dont really know what to do but this is not going to happen in 60 days and I cannot be this stressed for any length of time. It is absolutely toxic to my condition. Any advice i would appreciate.


Terry Butler

January 13th, 2013 11:36 am

My nme is Terry Butler and I was evicted also and now I have been homeless trying to get legal help without any suscess. I file a law suite in federal court and now I want to covert my claim into a CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT AND I WANT PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO JOIN.
Thank you,
Terry


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