When times are tough, it’s not unusual for people to fall behind on their rent. When that happens, some landlords cut tenants a little slack. Others begin the legal process of evicting the tenants who can’t pay.
And then there’s Woodfair Properties, which owns the Villa de Cancun apartment complex in Houston, Tex. They just go in and rip out your front door.
Jacqueline Greene, a struggling single mom of three came home from her temporary job with the city last week to find her front door missing. She was two months behind on the $593 per month she pays for a two-bedroom in the complaint-ridden complex.
Three other tenants in the building also found their doors taken away.
"It's like an awful feeling," Greene (pictured) told the Houston Chronicle. “You're worried about someone coming into your home in the middle of the night. Anything can happen while me and the kids are asleep. As a mother, your job is to protect your kids. When something like this happens, it makes that impossible."
The Houston Apartment Association called the building’s managers who denied taking the doors down. But shortly after the association threatened to call the city, Greene’s door suddenly reappeared.
Removing doors for any reason other than prompt, legitimate repairs is illegal in Texas.
"The statute is extremely clear. The language is pretty explicit,” said Texas Apartment Association VP David Mintz. “There are other remedies available to owners."
Despite its exotic name, Villa de Cancun is a run-down establishment of 329 apartments that just this May was hit with a $63,000 fine for various violations. Then in July, the Greater Sharpstown Management District sued the building’s owners for $19,000 in back taxes dating back to 2007.
In other words, the building’s owners are okay with being six years late on their taxes, but a tenant who’s two months late with the rent gets her door ripped off.
Villa de Cancun also generated the second-most calls of any complex to Houston’s apartment complaint hotline.
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle