A US man said he’s been forced to live in a van while he waits for local authorities to evict his tenant who is accused of being months late on paying rent and listing the rental on Airbnb.
Kareem Hunter moved into the Seattle property in March, but has so far only paid landlord Jason Roth $US1000 ($A1600) and now owes $US33,000 ($A52,000) plus utilities and late fees, KIRO 7 News reports.
Hunter said when he moved in, he immediately asked for assistance and that Roth was willing to work with him to set up a payment plan, but Roth alleges no payments were made.
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“I’ve been so generous extending myself to this guy and offering payment plans, offering payment plans for even the deposit, and he won’t give me anything,” Roth told the outlet.
Roth also alleges Hunter has listed the residence for $US150 per night on Airbnb, which is creating massive utility bills that he, as the landlord, must pay.
The house in Seattle was illegally listed as an Airbnb, its owner alleges. Credit: KIRO 7 NEews
Roth bought the house in 2016 and rented out rooms to friends while he renovated it.
But the apprentice aircraft mechanic decided to rent out the whole house earlier this year in order to save money to train to be a pilot, and he and his dog Wally moved into a small apartment, Fox News reports.
Unable to keep up with the piling bills, including paying the mortgage of the leased home as well as his tuition fee, Roth and Wally moved from the apartment into his van.
Roth said he’s been waiting months for the King County to evict Hunter, but according to the County’s Commissioner, it has a backlog of 600 cases.
Attorney Ryan Weatherstone told KIRO 7 News, the King County Superior Court was only conducting three hearings per day, four days a week, despite being the biggest county in Washington.
Jason Roth is living in a van while his tenant refuses to pay rent. Credit: KIRO 7 News
Unable to keep up with the piling bills, including paying the mortgage of the leased home and as well as his tuition fee, Roth and his dog moved from an apartment into his van.
“I’m sick of sleeping in my van and on couches. I just want to be back in my house,” Roth said.
The first court hearing for the case was Monday, October 23 and ended being adjourned.
Roth will be living in the van for another five months, as he waits for the trial date, which is set for March 12, 2024.
A US man has been sleeping in a van because he cannot evict his tenant, despite the tenant allegedly being late on rent. Credit: KIRO 7 News
“There’s so many things in place for the city to get people housing in the winter, but I am a homeowner who’s not going to have that,“ he said.
“The court hearing is past the date of the lease, (so) he’ll be in there past the lease date. It’s just crazy.”
Outside of court, Hunter said he had permission to run an Airbnb if he paid his rent and stuck to the lease.
“You’ve been lied to, you’ve been misled and once all the information comes out and all the facts come out, you’ll see,” he told KIRO 7 News.
The Seattle City Council said it is investigating the short-term rental license, while Airbnb has removed the listing.
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