“Joseph” and his wife and three children rented an apartment in the basement of a single family home. There were many problems with the apartment, and the landlord went months without fixing them. Joseph reported the issue to Nashville’s Metro Codes Administration and to the Metro Public Health Department. When Joseph received the agencies’ reports, he learned that the person he thought was his landlord did not actually own the property. When the real owner was alerted to the scam, he tried to evict everyone living on the property and sought approximately $2,000 in unpaid rent.
A Legal Aid Society attorney was able to work with the property owner and the tenants to mutually terminate the tenancy. The attorney avoided an eviction on the family’s record as well as any liability for rent owed to the property owner. Finally, the “fake” landlord agreed to make payments toward a $1,500 settlement to Joseph’s family.