Local News

Jun 7, 2013 6:31 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com

Landlord Nightmare: 'Tenant' Sits In Jail Not Paying Rent

CORPUS CHRISTI - One landlord is fighting to get his property back after police busted his tenant on drug charges and threw him in jail.

"This is what you call a landlord's nightmare right here," said Dave Sullivan as he looked at his house.

Sullivan, from the Sugarland area, owns a house on Naylor Street in Corpus Christi. There's garbage scattered across his property, the fence is destroyed and a truck is parked diagonally across his front lawn. That's just the beginning, however.

"He seemed like a nice young man," said Sullivan referring to his tenant. "His name was Justin Perez. He was a welder and has his own truck, and rig, and everything," he continued, "Of course he failed to put down he was a drug dealer."

On May 23rd, a SWAT team raided Sullivan's house on Naylor. The man they were looking for: Justin Perez. Inside the home police found two pistols, crack cocaine and money. They arrested Perez and charged him with delivery of a controlled substance. Today, Sullivan looks at his home with boarded up windows with another problem.

"Now a new issue is the non-payment of rent," Sullivan said.

Not only did police arrest Sullivan's tenant for dealing drugs but now he's locked up and isn't paying rent, but there's more. Sullivan said something that's new is he's noticed a "private property, no trespassing" sign on his fence but he says what's ironic is there are people staying at his home who really shouldn't be.

"It's supposed to be vacant but his dad and brother moved in," he said.

The landlord has heard people inside his house and has knocked on the door to talk to them but no one has answered. He's already posted eviction notices on the door only to have them magically disappear.

Sullivan said, "We got to do everything legal. If you take matters into your own hands you'll end up getting sued."

Now he'll have to go through the Justice of the Peace to get help with the eviction. His advice for future landowners is this: screen your tenants and keep your house vacant until you find the right person to move in.

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