Renters Beware: Know your landlord

By  | 

November 15, 2005
If you pay your rent on time and in full every month, you don’t expect to be evicted. But that’s just what happened to an Augusta woman. News 12 learned this happens to renters several times a week.

Sherry Hill lived here for a little over a year. She moved in from out of state with her children and needed a place to rent.

“I called him, like what’s going on, I’m paying you this money, this rent,” Hill said.

She came home one day to find a warning sign on her door. She was about to be evicted. For 14 months she paid rent to her landlord, but Richmond County court records show he pocketed the money and got behind on paying for the property. His mortgage company then began repossessing the home.

“I’m like oh no, he did not let this go into foreclosure, what am I going to do?” Hill said.

Sherry Hill wrote the court saying she had faithfully paid her rent to her landlord, Nicholas Kwadey. Richmond County Judge H. Scott Allen was in charge of this case, and he says as far as the courts are concerned, she was not the tenant, her landlord was. Sherry, like many renters, had no rights.

“If you ask the mortgage company if they had ever heard of Ms. Hill, they would say no, we don’t know who that is,” Judge Allen said.

She came home on September 27 to find a final eviction notice on her door, and gave her one day to leave. Now, her former house on Floyd Drive has sat empty ever since. The mortgage company eventually reclaimed the house.

“The eviction action was completely legal,” Judge Allen said.

This is of little comfort to Sherry Hill, who found herself packing, out of her rent and a home all in one day. She spent the week with her children in a hotel off Gordon Highway.

“I didn’t have no place to go,” Hill said.

She now has a new home in Evans. But the lesson sticks with her.

News 12 tried repeatedly to contact former landlord Nicholas Kwadey, but he did not return any phone calls. His former neighbors say he suddenly left for Virginia earlier this year without so much as a goodbye. In cases like this, renters can take their landlords to court, but the process can be long and expensive.