The landlord of a Maplewood apartment complex evicted a family just days after their father suddenly passed away.
James “Pat” Pinnell died of a heart attack last Thursday. On Tuesday afternoon his family received a knock on the door and a letter from the leasing manager at the Maplewood Village Apartment.
The letter read: “I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your father James Pinnell due to the fact he was the only person on the lease, I am going to have to change locks and secure the apartment at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday.”
“I was shocked,” said Preston Pinnell, 20.
The death of his father had barely sunk in, and now he was tasked with packing up in less than 15 hours.
“I said ‘hey we’ve got to hit the store and get boxes before they close.”
Preston lived at the apartment with his father and his younger brother Peter. Peter is a junior at Maplewood High School.
Their mother worked quickly to try to get a few more days for the boys.
“Give us at least until Monday after the service which is this Saturday, and basically she said ‘that’s not my problem,” said Piper Pinnell.
News 4 tried to find out why there is a rush to get the family out. News 4 called the leasing office and there was no answer, so News 4 knocked on the leading office door. The leasing manger, Tammy Brown opened it, yelled ‘no’ and ran away.
News 4 reached out to several attorneys to find out what the legal rights are of a tenant. Without seeing the actual lease they said it’s hard to give a firm answer, but there are some circumstances that would allow a landlord to evict at the end of the month, even if it was a 12-month lease.
The Pinnell’s said they weren’t even given the option to continue with their lease. And now the family is trying to get the rest of their belongings out of the apartment.
“There were some speakers and home entertainment center we couldn’t get out in that quick of a time,” said Preston Pinnell. “There were some precious items left, some pictures we would have liked to have had for the funeral service.”
The funeral service is scheduled for Saturday. The family has set up a GoFundMe account to deal with the unexpected death and trying to find new living arraignments.
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