Cassie Lowe, who said she is on the list for a liver transplant, worries about finding a new place to live after learning Wednesday that she will be evicted from the troubled Linbrook Apartments — now called The Avery.
“I hate to move. I hope they can get things worked out and this place in order,” Lowe said as she stood outside of the courtroom of Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Russell Casey. “I feel like we’re being bullied.”
Her case was among the 12 heard by Casey on Wednesday morning.
Lowe has five days to appeal, she said, but doesn’t think she can afford to do so as she would have to pay February’s rent to the court plus court costs.
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Lowe said she receives $587 a month in disability benefits, and her husband waits tables at IHOP.
She said her January rent of $816 was paid but was told management has no record of it. She still owes for February rent. She said the new manager at the Avery told her she needed to contact the former owners to discuss the January rent payment records.
The former Linbrook Apartments, the subject of numerous health and safety code violations, were purchased last month by Dallas-based TriPro Management. The former owners were Brigelle Bedford Holdings and YTMH Llc.
Shortly after the new owners took over on Jan. 9, some tenants received eviction notices stating they were behind in their rent payments.
When asked to comment on the eviction cases and if the company was working with the former owners to resolve discrepancies with rent payments, Eric Conner, a spokesman for the company, said, “We’re not going to comment.”
Casey said of the 12 cases that he heard, five defendants failed to show up and were issued default judgments, one case was put on hold because of a bankruptcy, one ruling was in favor of the tenant, and in the rest of the cases, people did not present evidence showing that they paid their rent.
Several tenants told Casey that they were living in unsafe, unsanitary conditions that included collapsed ceilings, insects and water leaks.
Casey told the Star-Telegram that he can’t comment on specific cases but that if tenants are in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, they can file a repair-and-remedy petition with a justice of the peace court.
The justice of the peace can issue an injunction to order the landlord to make repairs.
“I’ve heard over 10,000 eviction cases, but I’ve only had three repair-and-remedy petitions,” he said.
Since 2016, Bedford has cited the Linbrook Apartments with at least 91 health and safety code violations. Among those are violations for raw sewage, exposed wiring, leaking water lines, insects, rodents, broken fences and structural problems.
Last year, the city sued the former owners for failure to comply with repeated requests to fix the code violations. The city dropped the lawsuit when TriPro Management bought the property.
Joni Andress found out that her eviction case was dismissed on Monday and she thought that she was in the clear.
But on that same day, she came home from work and found a notice stating that she had to vacate her apartment on Friday or another eviction notice will be filed.
Andress said the notice stated that she still owes $556 for her February rent, although she has a signed receipt showing that she payed $839.
Andress said she showed her receipt to the new complex manager, who told her she needed to contact the former property owners for information on what she still owes in rent.
“It’s going to be a vicious circle. I’ll keep fighting and keep taking days off of work.” Andress said she missed work Wednesday to attend the eviction hearings.
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.