Black mother given eviction notice with smiling emoji
“Guess who’s moving? You!!!” the eviction notice read.
A Black single mother who recently lost her job was hit with an insensitive eviction notice from her landlord in Houston, Texas.
Sonja Lee said she was left in tears after receiving the note during the pandemic. She told ABC13 that she recently lost her job back in March when they stopped putting her on the schedule at a local Jack N The Box fast food restaurant. She applied for unemployment, but was denied.
Lee says she was then hired for another job, but it turned out to be a “scam” and she never received any compensation for her work. That job set her back on June and July rent.
“I was overwhelmed because, to be honest, I felt like I was in a big hole and I couldn’t get out of it because I was set back so much,” Lee said to PEOPLE. “So it’s like, I’m a single mother with two boys. I do the best that I can and am a very hard-working woman.”
On Monday (Aug. 17), Lee noticed the eviction notice taped to her door. The letter said, “Guess who’s moving today? You!!!” A smiling emoji was on the page. It also said, “Pay your outstanding balance, or release your apartment and turn in your keys to the leasing office by 6 pm today. Eviction will be filed promptly Tuesday morning, 8/18/2020.”
“So, y’all think it’s funny to antagonize the person that’s going through financial hardship with putting an emoji stating, ‘Guess who’s moving today?’ There was nothing funny about that,” Lee said.
ABC13 reached out to the higher ups at Karya Property Management. They said the manager who created the eviction notice was disciplined. They also said the flyer was only used one time. Swapnil Agarwal, the company’s founder, said that Lee is not under eviction and nothing has been filed against her.
The company sent out an email to all staff reminding them that they are only allowed to give out flyers that have been pre-approved by corporate.
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