Worst Athens Landlord Dispute of the Year?
Everyone may not be cut out to be a landlord, especially if weak anger management skills cause them to violate the rights of their tenants. Georgia landlord/tenant law clearly addresses all aspects of a rental arrangement and both sides have a responsibility to understand and comply with each requirement.
Tenants must pay rent in a timely manner, keep the premises in good order, and refrain from disruptive behavior and landlords must allow tenants access, the right to enjoy the use of the property, and maintain safe living conditions.
Landlords who attempt an illegal eviction face fines and penalties. Likewise, a landlord may not falsely imprison a tenant as Bogart residents 90 year old Frank Bundy and his two daughters, both in their 60s, did when they blocked their Athens tenant’s door, the only access into the unit, with an oversized tree stump and a log.
Regardless of the reason for the on-going dispute between the Bundy family and their 45 year old tenant, false imprisonment is a crime. Even worse, according to the Athens-Clarke County police officer as reported by onlineathens.com, doing so endangered lives during an emergency such as fire or gas leak, the officer was quoted as saying, especially since “there is no back door and some of the windows have metal bars across the lower pane.”
The dispute began back in February, when Mr. Bundy tried to unsuccessfully evict the tenant, who won $1200 in a countersuit. In early April, a tree stump was moved onto the property. A little less than a week later, Bundy attempted to board a window of the tenant’s Athens duplex, further restricting access. Six days after that, Mr. Bundy and his daughters used a car and chains to wedge the stump against the door of the unit and further bolstered it by chaining a large log to the stump, adding weight and impeding the possibility of shoving the stump aside. The police officer had to use straps attached to his vehicle to tow the blockade out of the way.
Illegal Eviction? False Imprisonment? Call on an Athens Premises Liability Attorney at Hurt, Stolz & Cromwell LLC for the Experience and Skill You Need for Settlement Recovery and Compensation
Mr. Bundy and his daughter didn’t just violate tenant rights. They created a dangerous environment. There are warrants out for the arrest of all three.
Hopefully, the Bundys will get out of the rental business and move on to more peaceful endeavors.But the tenant should discuss the case with a seasoned Athens premises liability attorney to discuss options for seeking compensatory damages for false imprisonment, violation of tenant rights, harassment, emotional distress, and pain and suffering if injuries were sustained.
Each landlord/tenant dispute is slightly different and most are settled amicably, but if a landlord oversteps the law, tenants should consult with an experienced Atlanta consumer protection lawyer at Hurt, Stolz & Cromwell LLC to explore all facets to your liability claim. Contact us today for a free, confidential, and sympathetic consultation.