A business owner wanted a tenant in Texas to leave and ordered a San Antonio property manager to harass him into leaving – using a variety of cruel and creative strategies, according to a government report .
In an email to management at the Siegel Suites, 3855 N. PanAm Expressway, a number of strategies are outlined, including replacing the woman’s working air conditioner with a malfunctioning one, security knocking on her door “at least ” twice a night, and deactivate his television set from the outside using a main remote control.
The email was sent by a senior vice president of operations at a Las Vegas-based company called The Siegel Group, according to a recently released US House subcommittee report, which includes the email. in question.
“I want this very uncomfortable person to sit in our room for free,” the executive wrote.
Siegel is one of four business owners named in the report – along with Pretium Partners, Invitation Homes and Ventron Management – each accused of engaging in abusive and deceptive practices against its tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.
The four groups filed nearly 15,000 eviction cases, mostly while a moratorium on evictions was in place, according to “Examining Pandemic Evictions: A Report on Abuses by Four Corporate Landlords during the Coronavirus Crisis.”
But the House investigation found that Siegel went further and “used harassing tactics … to evict tenants from their homes without taking formal eviction action,” the report said.
McClatchy News has contacted the Siegel Group for comment.
The executive also suggested telling the tenant that if management knocked on her door and she wasn’t there, she would call animal control to “pick up her stray animal.”
The most extreme strategy recommended, if children lived in the unit, calling child protective services to visit the woman’s apartment.
It is a crime in Texas to file false reports of child abuse or neglect, the House report points out.
“Understand that I don’t know anything about this person,” the executive said in his email. “I’m just going through my list of things to make sure you’ve tried everything to get rid of them.”
The executive’s wording suggests these harassment tactics can be tried and tested for Siegel, established protocols “employed throughout the company” for getting rid of unwanted tenants, the report said. If so, the San Antonio woman may not have been the first tenant targeted for harassment and bullied to leave.
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