WCTV Helps Save Student From Eviction

By: Andy Alcock
By: Andy Alcock

Imagine paying your rent and then facing eviction for non-payment.

It happened to a local college student.

It's been a stressful last several months for Kulishanna Powell.

A Tallahassee Community College student, Powell has been sharing an apartment at the University Courtyard complex on Adams Street.

"I take care of my bills," said Powell. "When I get paid, I pay my rent between the days we're supposed to," she said.

Those rent payments included one for December paid with a Western Union money order.

But there was a problem.

A new management company took over in December.

She paid the old management company for her rent at the end of November and it wasn't recorded.

Powell went to new apartment manager Bill Lundy for help.

"She came in and stated she had paid," said Lundy. "I said I need proof of payment," he said.

But there was another problem.

Lundy needed the front and back of the money order to show who was paid and if it was cashed, not just the receipt stub Powell showed him.

Powell says she couldn't afford the fee to get it.

Lundy filed an eviction notice.

"Gave her ample opportunity to bring this information in, she still didn't do it," said Lundy.

Reporter: "What kind of position has this put you in?
Powell: "A stressful position."

But when Eyewitness News started asking questions, Lundy's management company dropped the eviction case against Powell and paid Western Union to get the money order information.

When it arrived nearly two months later, it showed Powell had paid her rent.

Reporter: "When the change of management came in there was clearly a communication gap from what you could see?
Powell: "A big one, a very big gap."

After discovering Powell had paid her rent, her landlord credited her that month's rent and all late fees.

They also gave her a free months rent for the misunderstanding and an apology.

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