In Your Corner: Dispute erupts between family and landlord

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EL RENO, OKLA. - Shane and Patricia Thorn are furious with their former landlord, Fred Lydick.

“I want him to realize you can't treat families like crap,” Patricia said. “It's inhumane.”

They say Lydick tried to wrongfully evict them from their Lavilla and Elms Apartment following the El Reno storms. 

Shane said, “We had nowhere to go, no money.”

The family's unit was unlivable.

The Thorns say Lydick demanded they pay half of June's rent anyway and when they refused, he threatened to take all their belongings.   

“I was pretty upset and I still am. It's not right, not with three kids,” Patricia said.

Attorney David Teasdale represents the family.

Teasdale wants to know why someone would alter the Thorn's lease agreement.

The original agreement runs through June 22, 2013.

Then there’s the copy management sent Teasdale.

The date has been changed to May 30,2013.

“The day after the tornado nearly ripped their roof off, they altered their contract without their knowledge,” Teasdale said.

According to the original lease, the family should have had possession of the apartment to the end of June.

We wanted to talk to someone in charge.

Unfortunately, we've received very little cooperation from management and ownership.

In fact, not only are they refusing to do an on-camera interview with us, but so far they've refused to comment on the matter all-together.

For the Thorns, life goes on.

The family has since relocated to Oklahoma City.

They're demanding their deposit back and reimbursement for damaged property.

Here's the thing, had the thorns had renter's insurance, their stuff would have been protected no matter what.

Don't make the same mistake.

Most rental policies are rather inexpensive and worth the investment.

The In Your Corner bottom line:

  • Study your rental agreement before signing it.
  • Keep an iron-clad paper trail.
  • Hang onto your original lease.
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