3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Valley couple claims 'false eviction' ruined them

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(Source: 3TV) (Source: 3TV)

A couple says they thought about moving into a certain Phoenix apartment complex, but they say that's as far as it went.

They say they never gave a security deposit, they didn't sign anything, and they never received any keys.

So, why did the apartment complex pursue them? 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper went to the apartment complex to ask.

Harper: “Hi, I'm Gary Harper from Channel 3, with 3 On Your Side."

Woman at front desk: "Yeah, she's not in. She's out of town."

Harper: "OK, OK. We spoke to Becky, the regional manager, and then she hung up on me."

Hanging up on us is usually an invitation for a visit, and that's exactly what Harper did when one of the managers for an apartment complex called Banyantree disconnected our phone call.

Harper: "I don't appreciate being hung up on, So tell her that I am doing a story, it does reflect on her and the apartment complex, and it's urgent that she calls me as soon as possible."

3 On Your Side went to Banyantree Apartments to ask questions because, according to Chris Davis and his girlfriend Maira Martinez, the apartment complex pulled a fast one on them.

"It bothers me. It's wrong," Davis said.“We didn't do anything to them. I don't understand why they would do this to us."

Their problem started two years ago when they considered renting an apartment at Banyantree and filled out a simple rental application

However, after reading numerous negative online reviews about Banyantree, they changed their minds and looked elsewhere.

The couple says they were never shown an apartment at Banyantree, they never handed over a security deposit, and they certainly never received any apartment keys.

"It was kind of a sketchy place when we were talking to everybody that worked there, so that's another reason why we decided not to move in,” Davis said.

Regardless, management at Banyantree Apartments sued the couple and had court papers served to the apartment that they never moved into.

"Yeah, it says that we were properly summoned, but the paperwork was summoned to the apartment that we never lived at," Davis said.

As a result, Banyantree won a default judgement for $2,200 in rent and court costs, something Davis and Martinez just now discovered when they checked their credit report.

Not only that, but Banyantree reported them as being "evicted." How could that be if they never moved in?

The couple say it's all nonsense, including the rental agreement where they say someone forged and printed their names, which aren't even signatures.

So, Harper went to Banyantree to get an explanation for all this, but he was told the woman he needed to speak to was on vacation and not around.

Harper: "Is she really out of town?

Front desk: "Yes, she is."

Harper: "She is? Is it personal? Is there any way to get a old of her?"

Well, management with Banyantree never did call us back.

As for the judgement, the couple says that's bad enough, but erroneously reporting them as being evicted makes them damaged goods in the rental industry, meaning no one wants to rent to them now.

"We can't move anywhere until we get this settled, so we're kind of stuck," Davis said.

It's an unfortunate incident, and for now, the two continue to live with family because of that eviction hanging over their heads.

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