Property management CEO jailed for bad rental properties

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man sits in jail with almost 60 charges for renting unfit properties to unsuspecting victims.

He runs a property management company and was arrested this weekend after failing to show up for court to answer a slew of complaints against him.

Donavan McNutt lists himself as the CEO of McNutt Properties. He's charged with failing to maintain and repair properties he manages and repeatedly failing to comply with orders from Shelby County Environmental Court.

"There will be accusations made that everything is fine, but everything is not fine," Judge Larry Potter said.

WREG was in court Friday when the judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

Two tenants claimed they paid McNutt thousands of dollars in rent and he left them living without air, heat, hot water and other basic necessities.

In both cases the owners of the properties live out of town. One even lives in Australia and thought her home was vacant until she hired a real estate agent to sell it.

"When I entered the property because the homeowner thought it was vacant, I met the tenant," the real estate agent, Kaye Thompson, said.

McNutt advertised properties through Facebook. One tenant, Marketha Cooper, told WREG why she gave him three months rent in advance and what justice looks like to her in this case.

"Somewhere safe and warm for my kids, it's about to be winter time," Cooper said. "I called myself paying my rent up so I could provide a better Christmas, a better environment until I get myself stable. My hand is broken so I can't work right now."

McNutt has a $60,000 bond.

WREG checked, and the Better Business Bureau gave McNutt Properties a D+ rating.

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