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Recently we published a report on the living conditions of Radford Companies’ tenants. We did so anonymously to protect the identity of the Sherman family and prevent retaliation from the slumlord. Yet Radford Companies property manager Tina managed to identify them:

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Radford Companies’ property manager Tina claims the dilapidated unit isn’t theirs
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Then they change their tune and blame the Shermans for their living conditions while pretending they didn’t know of the problems beforehand

 

Letting the public know how Radford Companies treat their tenants seemed to have the desired effect of getting repairs for the Sherman family, but actually Radford Companies decided they would show how they treat tenants who speak out against horrible living conditions and evict them. We interviewed the Sherman family about the situation:

New River Tenants Union: How long have you been tenants with Radford Company Inc?

The Shermans: 3 years

NRTU: Recently we publicized how bad Radford Co let your home deteriorate, was it always this bad when you were tenants?

The Shermans: When we first moved in there were roaches, we complained about it, but they told us to try to deal with it ourselves and they said they would do something after and they never did, the carpet was trashed from the beginning, we didn’t even have a refrigerator when we first moved in, we’ve never had working smoke detectors in our home, and within the first week our oven caught fire from faulty wiring. What we were coming from was actually worse than what we moved into.

NRTU: We had been working with your family to get repairs for your home, after we publicized the unsafe conditions it seemed to cause Radford Co to do the right thing and fix the problems in your home, but that isn’t what ended up happening is it?

The Shermans: No

NRTU: Could you describe what happened as Radford Co started making repairs to your home?

The Shermans: They showed up the following Saturday morning, maintenance person, property manager and assistant property manager, they started interrogating us, asking us why we didn’t come to them to ask for repairs, but they knew about all these issues already, they claimed we caused them more problems than any other tenants they have ever had, they even asked us where the plywood over the holes in our floor came from when the manager was the one who told maintenance workers to put them there.

They asked if there was anywhere else we could go, we said we could get a hotel and they said “good, you cant be here when we are treating the unit with chemicals” they even were encouraging us to rent-to-own all the way up to when we finally found out we were evicted.

NRTU: So they gave you the impression they were doing repairs while they had you stay at a hotel until they were finished treating your home?

The Shermans: Mhm, the first time we had to leave we left for two days and then came back after that. They fixed the hallway, the holes were still in the floor in the kitchen, the fridge was still sinking into the floor, they only sprayed for mold and fungus. A few weeks later they came back and told us we had to go so they could finish the rest of the repairs.

NRTU: When did you know something wasn’t adding up? When did you find out Radford Co had been lying to your family this whole time and really they were just evicting you?

Anthony: We would go to our home almost everyday, and then we noticed the electricity was cut off. Tuesday Sept. 18th we came back to pick stuff up and the door was locked, – which was strange because it was never locked and we didn’t even have a key to our home for over 2 years, we didn’t even have a mailbox key and had to use a credit card or butter knife to pry open the mailbox to get our mail – that was the last time we were in there, our stuff was still in there, but when we talked to the manager they claimed they threw away all of our stuff away over a month ago.

We even had gone to get the electricity back on and planned to move back in on that following Thursday and they told us they needed two more days to spray for mold, and then Tiffany went back that Sunday, Sept 23rd to find all of our stuff had been thrown away, we thought they even threw away my mothers ashes

NRTU: That must have been very painful, prior to this you said the property manager Tina had been nice and helpful to you all, why do you think there was such a change in attitude?

Anthony: I dont know, we always heard from our neighbors that she treated people like shit, she was never like that towards us, we were appreciative of her , she was even like a mother figure to us, especially after losing my mother

NRTU: So you think their actions were retaliation for you speaking out about how bad your living conditions had become?

Tiffany: I think so, she now says we are banned from the property and I still have extended family living over there, why would we be banned from the property?

NRTU: Were you all ever served an eviction notice from the Sheriff? Why wasn’t there a notice in your mailbox or posted on your door or in your home?

Anthony: No, but we called the sheriffs office and they said they did, I never ever signed for anything, I was confused because of all that, I’m still waiting on a copy for the eviction notice

Tiffany: I work all the time so I cant keep up with all these things, we are good friends with our neighbors and no one ever said anything to us about seeing someone deliver a notice

NRTU: Tiffany you work more than 40 hours per week, how difficult has it been dealing with all this on top of having such a heavy workload and taking care of your kids?

Tiffany: I work more than 40 hours at one job and I also janitor at my church, but now they don’t pay us anymore cause they are having financial difficulties, it’s more difficult for Anthony raising the kids, doing the cooking and the cleaning, it’s just hard working at my daycare having to put a smile on my face not knowing where me and my kids are gonna go at night

Anthony: If she gets annoyed that automatically annoys me, when shes flustered or frustrated, I hate the fact I can’t give my family a permanent place, or wonder that I did something to make this happen, I take this to heart, I don’t like to see her cry, my kids are tired of being in one room, and they have to stay inside because other people complain at the hotel. They arn’t use to being this cramped up, but we are making due and we got a plan. All we can do is stick together. Its taken a toll on all of us mentally and physically

NRTU: So what are your plans? Do you have any leads on finding a new home?

Anthony: Well we are gonna go stay with Tiffany’s mom, I guess just save up money until we can have enough to purchase a trailer or find another place. It seems the only way around here you can get a second chance is if you have a criminal record and we have no criminal record.

NRTU: Do you think there is good, affordable housing for working class people in the New River Valley?

Anthony: Hell no! Theres no affordable housing around here

Tiffany: We try to help ourselves, but when we try to get help they tell us we make too much

NRTU: What would you like to tell the community about this issue?

Tiffany: If you are going through problems with housing, make sure to document things, put it writing, take pictures, don’t rely on the landlord’s word, in the end of the day they are just out for themselves

Anthony: Cover your own ass, make sure you document everything, that way you arn’t sitting there like assed out. Just cause someone is friendly doesn’t mean they are trustworthy, that’s a bad way to live having to look over your back 24/7, but we have no choice, especially when it comes to the kids we have to make sure they are taken care of

NRTU: What do you think is the answer to prevent such a terrible experience from happening to any other working family again?

Anthony: Join the tenants union! That way you are aware of these slumlords, if you get into this situation you can go to the tenants union as a resource to know these are bad landlords, and cover your ass

NRTU: Would you like to say anything else?

Tiffany: I think one thing that has really kept us together is our faith, I think God took us out of that situation. If we didn’t have faith we wouldn’t have the strength and support we have right now through the tenants union and our family. I think God brought us here so we can be a positive force so others can learn from our situation and make things better for everyone.

We have set up a fundraiser for the Shermans in their time of need. Please share this and encourage your friends and family to contribute and help this local working family find a new home!

12 thoughts on “Radford Retaliates, Throws Family to the Curb

  1. Radford company inc are nothing but slum lords an they like to hire your local meth head to do house repairs. One time the neighbor got drunk an lit her trailer on fire an it spread to mine an my roommates an all we asked for was for them to put us in hotel room for night till we were sure it was all the way out an smoke smell was out of house an they refused we even offered to pay for it an they just knock it off rent an they refused needless to say i had to wake my parents up at 2 in the morning to ask if i could sleep on their couch an bring my roommate an her boyfriend cause we were not going back in an it took them months to fix the sidding on trailer an under pending in winter so electricity went way up they are just so rediculous i could go on they are the only rental i have on my report because i refuse to give them a dime

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  2. I rented from Redford and companies for 4 Years. I moved in February 2013. They told me everything was in perfect condition I was 9 months pregnant with my 3rd child. Tina knew we were a couple weeks away from bringing a newborn baby into the world. My aunt babysitted my two oldest children while we was in the hospital. She complained of the trailer being cold. I didn’t pay much mind cause she is always cold. When we got home I realized she was right it’s cold we would have to turn the heat up on 90 to get it warm. We told Tina about it they said would have a maitnence man come. He told us everything was fine it was just us not being used to that kind of heat. My husband went under the house to find out that were small holes in the what ducts. We had not been there a month yet. They came and taped them up it still didn’t help our power bill was running 300 a month. My husband’ finally went through the whole trailer underneath. The holes was huge and they just wanted to tape them up. The holes was so big that cats and possums was coming through the vents inside our trailer. It took 2 years before they replaced the entire duct work through a 3rd party contractor who stated no wonder why your power bill was so high that was the worst heat ducts I’ve seen in 30 years of being in business. We had to rip out the carpets and put down wooden floors out of our own pockets because mold kept growing in the carpet and they wouldn’t do anything about it. Also a tree grew through the deck and my husband had to cut it down also you would put a work order for maitnece to come out and they always claim they didn’t get the work order. They are the biggest slum lords ever and I will never rent from them again. All the trailers are full of roaches we had to have orkin spray ours out of our own pocket monthly which was 89.00 a month. We had never had bugs till we moved there and noticed roaches a week after moving in. We notified them about it and they said they would take care of it and never did we had to. To everyone save yourself from stress don’t rent from them they are terrible. 4,000 other people can’t be all wrong lol.

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  3. I did a rent to own option from them. Worst mistake I’ve ever made in my life. When I did the walk through, I thought it was chilly in the house, but figured since it was a vacant house and they didn’t have the heat on, that that was why. Little did I know, about two weeks into my move in, I hear animals in the air ducts. I contact them and tell them about it. Nothing. I inform them I’m not giving them the 2,000 down payment until my heat system is fixed, bc running the oven for heat is simply too much on a single moms income. They send the maintenance man out to “fix” the air ducts…mind you this house hasn’t been raked from prior season changes in what looked like years and there was ZERO visible disturbance to those leaves, so nobody ever went under my house. My heat system was NEVER fixed, so I never paid my down payment. I was ultimately evicted but not before they sent the cops to my job, and gave me less than 24 hours to clear my house out. I was 5 months pregnant, and had started having contractions while trying to meet their 6pm deadline before they locked me out of my house. Me and my kids were homeless for months while I was pregnant and working two jobs to get enough money saved up to get us in somewhere. I was also served a no trespassing order, and they knew my neighbor was keeping what I couldn’t fit in my car, in her building. I’m so thankful that my current landlord saw through the Bull with Radford companies and gave us a shot. I know my current landlords name has been drug through the mud, but he has genuinely been good to us and taken care of any issue I’ve ever had.

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  4. I lived there before and could hear animals running in the vents it seemed like and most of the time a skunk so our whole place smelled like a skunk they told me to put moth balls out once my lease was up I rolled out one year was enough I would never rent from them again and I lived there in 2011 so they still haven’t changed

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  5. Slum slum slum we had called them for repairs when I lived there on our toilet we had to go weeks…WEEKS of them saying they were going to fix it. I bugged and bugged I was scared to make them mad.you shouldn’t have to bug for repairs or be scared, a landlord should upkeep the property and if I wouldnt have bugged hate to see how long we would have went without it fixed.people kept telling me pay the rent to the courthouse and document the problem and they get the money once it is fixed. But I was scared like what happened to this poor family to be kicked out.then when there was a water leak In the basement they came said they fixed it.Oh no we had to deal with it never being fixed always told we will send the maintenance man over and over.My son had to move upstairs after and we shut the basement off it stayed with a half inch deep water until we decided to move.Their prices are so high and all of their properties are ran into the ground.Its sad to see them get away with it for so long!!!!

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  6. They are very unfair to everyone who they think they can take advantage of. They took half my money and told us that we couldn’t live in there park with dogs after they said we could.everyone must know how dirty there treating people because there’s alot of rent to own homes or homes for sale .someone. needed to do this .report them for how they try n make people live . I would never recommend anyone to live in any of there property’s.

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  7. I know who this is…I lived in the same park at the time. We were forced to give up our family dog that they knew we had when we moved in. They turned off my water and I never got a bill. Slumlord is politely putting it

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  8. Yes I had three grandchildren and they had me leave my home and let my boyfriend dust there and it wasn’t far too me and my grandchildren

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  9. Each community that receives federal HUD dollars has a mandatory series of public comment meetings on the plan- including housing- for communities that accept federal HUD funding. The performance and accountability for those funds is in a document called the Grantee Performance Report or GPR. Find out how your federal housing dollars are or are not being spent in the New River Valley and adjacent towns.

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