(Memphis) We are getting to the bottom of an unusual zero-tolerance apartment lease that could land a mother and her two children on the streets.
Tamika Porter received a letter from her apartment that says she’s got to move in a matter of days because police arrested her teenage daughter.
We asked the Memphis Fair Housing Center if most leases were like Porter’s.
Sapna Raj said, “That’s the first time I’ve seen that actually.”
Raj manages the Memphis Fair Housing Center and says the lease Porter was given by Fogelman Management Group is extremely unusual, but if she signed it, she agreed to it.
“Before you sign a lease you need to read it very carefully to make sure that you agree to everything. That’s your obligation and that’s your duty,” said Raj.
The lease says eviction can occur if someone on the lease or one of their visitors is arrested “regardless of whether or where arrest or conviction occurs.”
Police arrested Porter’s daughter on robbery charges in Cordova.
This mom says this is a case of mistaken identity and believes her 17-year-old will be cleared when they go to juvenile court. Police already ruled out her other teen as a suspect.
“I thought by law you were innocent until proven guilty,” said Porter.
However, the apartment isn’t willing to wait on justice.
The leasing manager wouldn’t answer our questions as to why so we went to the headquarters of Fogelman Properties.
We were told no one there could speak to us, but later, their lawyer called. Attorney Bruce Feldbaum says he represents Fogelman.
Feldbaum said, “It’s my client’s position that we don’t comment on matters that are in litigation.”
Raj says the key word there is litigation.
The letter that told Porter she must leave in a few days is just that, a letter.
It takes more to evict her because a tenant has rights.
“I would let the tenant know that just because they’ve been a notice that they have to leave doesn’t mean they have to leave. The tenant has to be taken to court,” said Raj.
Raj says it is up to a judge to order an eviction.
If one does, you still have ten days before a sheriff can be called to put you out.
We’ll be watching to see how this plays out.