Tennessee courts halt evictions, landlords agree to leniency after WREG asks questions

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Supreme Court has ordered judges not process any evictions through April 30, but WREG found some landlords are not practicing the same leniency.

Alysha Potts is 8-and-a-half months pregnant and already has 8 children. Like many others, the coronavirus pandemic has caused major issues for her family, especially at home. They got a notice last week stating their owner wanted to sell, so they have to leave by the end of next month.

“I have two heart conditions,” Potts said. So I’m not even supposed to be leaving the house for anything now so it’s completely impossible for us to obtain a new residence and somehow manage to move a household this large when everything’s closed down.”

She’s not the only one concerned. Downtown Neighborhood Association president Jerred Price shared a text message received by tenants of property manager Reedy and Company.

It acknowledged the uncertainty of the times, but said the company must “take care of business first.” They said rent must be paid on time and tell tenants to use their pending checks from the federal government. It went on to say “we will not be waiving any late fees.”

“The lack of compassion and understanding. The text had nothing to do with, ‘if you’re in a financial hardship,'” Price said.

Reedy and Company sent us this statement:

Reedy and Company is committed to working with our residents and owners during this national crisis. We are currently working with our 750+ owners and more than 3,000 residents to understand how we can best navigate this ongoing crisis.

We have made necessary preparations to continue operations with an emphasis on resident and employee safety. Like many around the nation, we patiently await announcement of government action to bring economic relief. We are prepared to coordinate with federal, state, and local government agencies to serve our residents. Our company is dedicated to supporting our residents, owners, and employees during these unprecedented times.

Reedy and Company later changed course and said they would absorb the expense of late fees for their residents in April.

We also called Omni Property Management, who handles the Potts’ home. Omni agreed to honor the couples request for leniency and give them until May 31 or even longer, if necessary.

“I want to make sure we as Memphians do all we can for each other,” Price said.

Representatives for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said they process about 20 percent of the county’s evictions and will comply with the order to cease those efforts.

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