GREENSBORO, N.C. - The holiday songs say this is the most wonderful time of the year, but not if you're being evicted. Seventeen families claimed they paid their rent. Many of them had receipts, but the apartment owner said there was no record.
Two weeks ago, 2 Wants To Know found claims their rent checks may have disappeared at the hands of the apartment office manager. The owner said with no record of payment on his books everyone would have to pay. The owner took the families to court Tuesday.
It was an emotional day. A Small Claims judge gave seven of the 17 families 10 days to pack their stuff and leave. Those seven families all live in the Kingsgate South apartment complex.
The judge took their claims that the former apartment manager stole their rent payments into consideration. In fact, the judge waived all rent payments due before August. That was when the complex changed managers.
But those seven families facing eviction they missed payments after new management took over. Residents claimed they didn't pay because of the bookkeeping confusion with the management switch. But the golden rule is to always pay your rent. If you don't pay your rent, it is if you broke the contract.
While many said their updated leases still aren't signed. But the judge ordered those with back payments to fork over the money or move out.
This impacts more than just those families. Every taxpayer in Greensboro is involved. Back in 1998, the city loaned Kingsgate about half a million dollars for improvements. The city says Kingsgate is already behind on payments themselves and hasn't paid since 2009. Those Payments which might get harder to make with all these newly empty apartments.
An attorney for Kingsgate declined to comment.