Fed up landlord spray paints 'deadbeat tenants' on home

By Tom Roussey - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A landlord who says she's fed up with some tenants who refuse to pay their rent decided to take matters into her own hands with spray paint.

Landlord Vanessa McCants spray painted the words "deadbeat tenants" on a house she owns in the Reedy Creek subdivision of Northeast Charlotte.

McCants says the tenants have not paid the $1300 a month rent since June 1st, and have now missed two payments.

McCants says the home is being foreclosed on and will be auctioned off next week.

She believes the tenants figured out she wouldn't be able to legally evict them before she lost ownership of the home, so they stopped paying.  She says the eviction process can take several months.

"Why do you think you have the right to stay in someone's home without paying them rent?" McCants said.  "Just because this house is under foreclosure -- that's neither here nor there -- you still have to pay me."

Tenant Shanae Jackson admits she's not paying the rent, but says McCants isn't telling the whole story.

She says she's been trying to move because the home is being foreclosed on, and she says she can't afford both the rent and moving expenses at the same time. Jackson feels the security deposit she gave when she moved in should cover the rent.

But McCants says that security deposit is for damage to the property -- not to cover unpaid rent.

Jackson also accuses McCants of cutting the wires to the air conditioning, which she denies.

McCants said she decided to vandalize her own home after trying to get inside to retrieve things she owns, and being told by police she can't right now.

She believes the law gives a lot of protection to tenants, but not enough to homeowners.

McCants spray painted the garage with "deadbeat tenants" and Jackson's name on the garage Wednesday night.  Soon after, Jackson painted over the words.

Jackson called police, who said McCants won't be charged because spray painting your own property is not a crime.

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