Sean Hannity’s real estate holdings in low-income areas earn his companies million in profits, but that hasn’t stopped him from going after the poor peosple who live in his often sub-standard properties.
An aggressive approach to rent collection has lasting consequences for tenants living in Sean Hannity’s properties in low-income areas.
The Washington Post published a disturbing report on former tenants like single mother Shemeika Fluelin and others who have been evicted after falling behind on their rent or subjected to exorbitant late fees and court costs.
According to The Washington Post,
For years, Fox News host Sean Hannity has poured his fortune into a surprising side venture: a vast portfolio of rental properties in working-class neighborhoods. He described those holdings in compassionate terms when they came to light last month, saying he invests in places that “otherwise might struggle to receive such support.”
But a Washington Post analysis shows that managers at Hannity’s four largest apartment complexes in Georgia have taken an unusually aggressive approach to rent collection. They have sought court-ordered evictions at twice the statewide rate — in a state known for high numbers of evictions and landlord-friendly laws — and frequently have done so less than two weeks after a missed payment.
Continuing, they reported that:
Property managers at the complexes sought to evict tenants more than 230 times in 2017, court records show. At one, a 112-unit subdivision in a suburb west of Atlanta, 94 eviction actions were filed last year, records show.
Among the tenants Hannity’s property managers sought to evict, records show, were a former corrections officer and her wife, who fell behind while awaiting a disability determination; a double amputee who had lived in an apartment with her daughter for five years but did not pay on time after being hospitalized; and a single mother of three whose $980 rent check was rejected because she could not come up with a $1,050 cleaning fee for a bedbug infestation.
Some of the court files include notes showing that sheriff’s deputies removed residents. More often, though, tenants who were taken to court avoided eviction by paying their past-due rent along with hundreds of dollars in late fees and other costs, records show. The Post found that property managers repeatedly filed eviction actions against many of those residents.
The Washington Post reached out to three experts in the field who “said the pattern suggests that the threat of eviction is being used not just to remove tenants but also to generate revenue.”
Susan Reif, head of the Eviction Prevention Project at the publicly funded Georgia Legal Services Program, told The Washington Post that: “When they are serially filing against the same tenants, they are using the courts as collection agencies. It appears they are just trying to increase their profit margin by demanding fees under the threat of being evicted from your home.”
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