Tenants at southwest Houston apartments face eviction despite them paying the bills

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Tenants at an apartment complex in southwest Houston are scrambling to find a roof over their heads, after many of them woke up to eviction notices, and are left with nowhere to go.

Many of the residents told ABC13 their rent was paid on time, and they're unsure of why they are being forced out.

"We are dumbfounded," Kristina Baucom, a resident, said. "We pay rent every time. In fact, last month we paid early."

Baucom showed proof of her payments from the last few months to ABC13. After she got the eviction notice, she found out the last two checks were never cashed, but can't get answers as to why.

She and her family aren't alone, like many others at the Madison Apartments on Forum Park Drive, they woke up to the same eviction notices.

"I think almost every single door had this (Wednesday)," Baucom said.

Many of the residents, like Shelley Johnson, rely on rental assistance.

"This is just devastating, they are able to do this," Johnson said. "We feel helpless."

Johnson showed ABC13 proof of her approval from Texas Rent Relief. She also showed a ledger provided by the building's management, which showed she had a balance of $12,000 in November, from the money she was awarded.

"I have the proof of the reward, now they're saying they're going to evict me," Johnson said.

Unsure of where the thousands of dollars in relief money went, Johnson is searching for answers and now faces eviction. Records indicate Madison Apartments LLC is the property owner since January 2022. The Previous owner was Ariafa LLC.

ABC13 has attempted to reach out to both property owners and has not received a response. There was an employee on-site, who refused to answer any questions, locked the office door, and then drove away.

Residents are now left wondering what is next, as many don't have the means to just pick up and find affordable housing.

"I'm going to have to go to court, that's all I can do," Johnson said.

"We don't have any other family here," Baucom said.

According to the Harris County Justice of the Peace Precinct 7, if tenants decide to fight the eviction and don't leave, the landlord can choose to file suit, then it will ultimately be up to a judge.

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