Tenants shocked after letter from county tells them to stop paying rent, consult attorney

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Residents of an airport-area apartment complex called WREG, overwhelmed and frustrated, after they learned the person they’ve been paying rent to for months is not actually their landlord.

The residents of the Willow Oaks Apartments are stunned. One week before Thanksgiving they received this notice from Shelby County government stating the county now owns their property due to a deliquent tax sale on Oct. 29, 2019.

That same letter also tells them to stop paying rent, and informs them that they continue to live there at their own risk, because the county assumes no responsibility for maintenance or repairs.

“You may also wish to consult with an attorney about the circumstances surrounding any rental proceeds collected from you since Nov. 1, 2019,” the letter states.

“We as the tenants, we had no idea what was going on until they gave us letters,” Amy Durham said. “I feel terrible because I’m like, where does that leave me? What am I supposed to do?”

Durham said she moved there this August. Since then she’s buried both of her parents and also cared for her 9-year-old grandson.

She’s now out of thousands of dollars paid in rent and deposits.

This man identified by tenants as a manager threatened to call the police on our crew.

WREG went to the complex’s leasing office for answers. It was closed with a “No Trespassing” sign posted. We were then asked to leave by a man tenants identified as a manager.

“I’m not telling you anything. You leave or I’m calling the police,” the man said.

Frustrated and feeling forgotten, Durham hopes someone is held accountable.

WREG reached out to the county for additional information on this property and the next steps for tenants. We will let you know when we receive a response.

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