First-time landlord says she’s forced to evict tenant, offers advice to other landlords

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jun 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-04 00:21:35-04

When JoAnn Grant rented out her property two years ago, she says everything checked out with the man she chose as her tenant.

"We did a background check and he had references that I called and talked to," Grant said.

Except red flags started to pop up, Grant says her tenant was missing utility bills and causing disruptions in the neighborhood.

One neighbor filmed an apparent swat situation unfolding at the property.

On April 27, Grant says she served him an eviction notice and since she’d been traveling most of the time, she notes that’s the first chance she got to see the mess inside.

"I was very shocked at the damage I saw that day," says Grant.

She gave him three days to leave per legal protocol.

"Minimum time frame is three days," said Sergeant Derrick D’Mellow with El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

But more than a month later, Grant’s tenant is still there.

"I think I was just way too lenient and not tough enough and I’ve learned," Grant added.

Grant says she’s had to hire a paralegal and pay to file court documents.

"That’s very frustrating," she said.
"You pay money and then you wait. It just takes so long to go through the eviction process."

Since a judge officially released the property back to her, the next step is for El Paso County Sheriff’s office to escort her onto the property so she can completely vacate it.

She’ll have just one hour to do so and must pay a fee to the Sheriff’s Office.

She’ll also pay movers to remove everything from the home.

"It’s going to have to be gutted and cost a lot of money," Grant said.

Right now, she estimates she’s had to pay more than three thousand dollars out-of-pocket.
Though she says a judge awarded her the money she’s had to pay so far, Grant believes collecting it from her tenant will be another lengthy process.

But one thing Grant has learned? 

"The real takeaway," she said, "is to do those walk-throughs every quarter."

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office told News 5 last year alone, deputies served about 1,000 eviction notices.

Grant told me deputies will help her carry out the eviction this upcoming Tuesday.

News 5 will continue to follow this case as it develops.