A former tenant of the Legacy at Westwind in Horn Lake has her judgment tonight, despite delays from her former landlord.
She didn’t want to share her identity due to fear of retribution. The former tenant first shared her story with the Problem Solvers in October 2019.
She lived at the Horn Lake housing complex for more than a year. During that time, her family faced a lot of issues like the central air never working.
Eventually, she took it into her own hands; she filed a lawsuit in DeSoto County Small Claims Court and won her case!
She shared her documentation with WREG, showing they owed her a judgment worth more than $3,500.
But when the Problem Solvers first met her, the complex was refusing to pay.
In an email, a lawyer told her: “No payment is forthcoming.”
And when WREG went to the Legacy at Westwind, management refused to explain. They gave us an email address to follow up with, but the email address bounced back.
But as soon as we aired the original story, Problem Solver Stacy Jacobson got an email from another woman dealing with the same issue. She said had a lawyer with the University of Mississippi School of Law.
We set up to meet with Desiree Hensley, an associate professor and the director of the school’s Low-Income Housing Clinic.
“I like to be a voice for people who otherwise wouldn’t have one,” Hensley said.
The WREG Problem Solvers connected Hensley with the tenant from our original story and she became her second client against the Legacy at Westwind.
“We were at a dead stop on our end, so it helped a lot,” the former tenant said.
“You all gave her my information and she called and I said we’d be glad to help her execute her judgment,” Hensley said.
At first, an attorney told her the company wouldn’t pay because the ruling went against the “Legacy at Westwind,” but he represented an LLC with a slightly different name: “Westwind D&T.”
“He’ll be making those arguments in court as to why the owner of the property is not responsible for paying the judgment to our clients,” Hensley said.
But they never made it to court.
“Once they requested the records from Legacy, that would show all their financials and everything they’ve got going on that they didn’t wanna show them so they just went ahead and paid it out,” the former tenant said.
After the Housing Clinic got involved, Legacy at Westwind paid out her judgment in full.
“It makes me feel good to know what I did is the right thing and needed to be done,” the former tenant said.
She said the Problem Solvers coverage helped her reach this solution, connecting her with the lawyer who ultimately helped both tenants get their money.
“It got it out there,” she said. “We did it. We got the outcome we needed”
Her family used the money to buy a car, something they haven’t had for years. Now, she wants other underdogs to know they can win, too.
Legacy at Westwind has gotten new management since this happened. A person in the leasing office told WREG Multi-South Management took over in August. The previous management, Elmington, never responded to our repeated requests for comment.