When a Landlord Violates Tenant Rights by Blockade, Consider a Premises Liability and Consumer Protection Lawsuit

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.

Avoid Car Accidents by Following Bicycle Light Laws

Joining Forces to Ensure Compliance With Georgia Bicycle Light Law

Pedestrians and oncoming traffic have a hard time seeing bicyclists at night if they don’t use a headlight and rear light or reflectors, as required by state law. The Atlanta City Council teamed up with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting better biking through advocacy for over twenty years, on Friday, December 14th to hand out bike lights in a “Let’s Get Visible” effort to promote safety. Funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), Councilman Michael Julian Bond donated 200 additional lights to ABC volunteers. The donation is needed and this drive has a special focus: students and commute-to-work bicyclists.

Cyclists participated in a “Tour de Lights” ride that ended at a coffee shop on the west side. Members of the Coalition routinely carry extra bike lights with them to hand out as needed, and get together bi monthly to ride and promote safer and better bicycling in the Atlanta area. But this special, annual event is especially effective in drawing the public’s attention to the difficulty pedestrians and operators of motor vehicles have seeing bicyclists who ride without lights, especially in the early dawn and dusk hours.

The greater Atlanta area has experienced a sharp upturn in commuter as well as recreational bicyclers and now that Daylight Savings Time has ended, more cyclists will find themselves pedaling after dark. Unfortunately, at the time of year when visibility is needed most, many ignore Georgia bike laws requiring a front white light and rear red light or reflector.

Injured in a Georgia Car vs. Bike Accident? You May Need an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer to Sort Out the Facts

Why don’t some bicyclists use lights? The answers are varied. For some, it is a financial issue. Others don’t know they are required by law or where to purchase bike lights. Either way, without a bright white light and the proper rear light/reflector, bicyclists risk their lives and endanger the lives of unwary drivers and pedestrians.

Georgia motorists in the Athens area who have been unexpectedly injured in an accident involving a bicyclist without proper lighting should consult a metro Atlanta car accident lawyer. While bicycling is an economical, healthy, and fun way to get to and from work or school, visibility is key to avoiding a motor vehicle accident. Maintaining high visibility not only protects the bicyclists, it protects those he or she may encounter. Let’s save lives by making sure we’re all in compliance with Georgia motor vehicle and bicycle safety equipment.