Local I-Team: Commissioner hopes to help renters who say they were scammed by former landlord

Local I-Team

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – One Shelby County Commissioner is hoping the county can help get relief for some renters who say they were scammed out of rent by their former landlord.

Commissioners Reginald Milton says he just found out about the situation a few days ago. Many of the victims are senior citizens and disabled.

Dozens of South Memphis families say their former landlord scammed them out of thousands of dollars. The landlord no longer owns their property, but victims say the company tried to collect rent anyway.

“I’m hoping this is nothing but an unfortunate misunderstanding and that they can find the funds and these families can recoup their dollars,” said Reginald Milton, Shelby County Commissioner. “We need to get their dollars back and we are reaching out to the previous owners of these properties, which would be MANDCO and see if we can resolve that.”

The Memphis Area Neighborhood Development Corporation, known as MANDCO, owned the property in South Memphis. Shelby County took over ownership of the properties because the company hadn’t paid its taxes.

Despite the county telling the renters to stop paying their former landlord, renters say they were harassed and intimidated until they gave the former landlord cash.

“They telling lot of the renters they still have the property when they know they don’t have it,” said renter Alexander Thompson.

“Since the county took control of these properties, from that point till now, any funds that were taken by MANDCO needs to be returned,” said Milton. 

Shelby County took ownership of the properties as far back as October of 2018 for non-payment of taxes. While the county owns the property, tenants are not required to pay rent. The county says MANDCO officials were told they no longer had a right to collect money from their former tenants.

“I want to assure them that the county has no intention of evicting them and our goal is for them to be able to stay there,” said Milton.

Last week, no one inside the MANDCO office on Rayburn would come to the door and talk to us. We also went to homes of those in charge but there was no answer.

Monday, the Local I-Team went to the address listed on state documents. The person listed as the principal agent wasn’t there. We left our phone number but so far no one has returned our message.

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