A Dallas man said his entire belongings and that of his daughter were mistakenly removed from his apartment building and thrown into a dumpster after the building’s management conducted a clear-out in the wrong unit.
In an interview with FOX 4, Johnny Abney said the apartment’s management was supposed to clear out a different unit, not the one he and his daughter were staying in. He said the mistake by The Hamilton management has since cost him tens of thousands of dollars. The high-end apartment building is located in Deep Ellum, Dallas.
“Clothing items. All of my groceries. They cleared out my refrigerator full of groceries,” he said. “Right down to the shower curtain.”
Despite his losses, the building’s management is adamant Abney was not a legal tenant in the first place. “They came to my door and cleaned everything out from my clothes to my daughter’s clothes, toothbrush, bathing items, pretty much left me with nothing,” Abney added.
Abney filed a police report in the wake of the incident, stating that he noticed his apartment had been unlocked and his belongings removed after returning from work in late July. He also stated in the report that a leasing agent at the property said “there was a misunderstanding, and maintenance accidentally cleared out Abney’s unit.” The unit that was supposed to be cleared was the one next door as the occupant was being evicted, FOX 4 reported.
Other residents ended up picking up Abney’s belongings after they were disposed of in a dumpster. “Not only did they put my stuff out. They watched people take my property all day,” he said, adding that though the property’s management tried retrieving their belongings from the dumpster, he and his daughter lost the majority of their things.
“They told me it was a mistake. They apologized,” Abney said. “They were overly apologetic. ‘Let us know if anything’s missing.’” The property management, however, changed their initial stance.
A leasing agent who later spoke with Abney informed him that the unit he was staying with his daughter was leased by his ex-girlfriend who was no longer staying there. But though it was determined Abney did not have permission to sublet the unit, he was still paying almost $3,000 in monthly rent.
Abney has since filed a lawsuit against the property management company. In the complaint, Abney alleges management gave him a 24-hour ultimatum – that is to either complete his rental application or face eviction, per FOX 4. He received an eviction notice after 24 hours.
“I’ve already lost property,” Abney said. “Now you trying to kick me off the property with no resolve?”
Abney’s lawyer, Jason Freidman, also said it did not matter who was leasing the apartment unit. “The rent was paid in full. There was no reason to go into his apartment. There was no reason to throw anything away,” Freidman said. “The apartment building didn’t know when they threw all of that stuff away who’s stuff it was, whether it was the person on the lease or his.”
Abney and his daughter have since moved out of the apartment unit. They’re currently staying with family. The Hamilton also told FOX 4 they had asked Abney to send them a list of his missing belongings so they could determine the amount for reimbursement. But Abney said they never reached out to him.