‘This is the worst’: SA family details disputes with renters who can’t be evicted because of COVID-19

SAPD called to NW Side home eight times since early April

SAN ANTONIO – In early March, Amber Martinez’s family decided to rent out the small efficiency behind their home on Hermine Boulevard.

Nearly two and half months later, the family has collected a grand total of $200.

The Comal County woman who rented the space is now more than $1,300 behind in rent, but remains living at the Northwest Side property because of a freeze on evictions that remains in place in Bexar County.

Weeks after she moved in, two other people including her daughter began to stay there as well.

San Antonio police records released Friday show officers have responded to the property eight times since April 6.

A majority of the calls have been for disputes related to the Martinez family wanting the woman and her roommates to leave the premises, an SAPD spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

The most recent call to 911, which happened Thursday, was for a man associated with the renters sleeping in a vehicle in the alley behind the efficiency.

Texas halted evictions, giving renters some relief. But what happens when the moratorium ends?

Despite a Texas Supreme Court ruling Thursday that allows eviction proceedings to resume in the state early next week, Bexar County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Rogelio Lopez confirmed Friday they likely will not start up again here until June 1 at the earliest.

Citing guidance from the Office of Court Administration, Lopez pointed out that even when in-person hearings do resume, the dockets will be smaller than normal so that social distancing guidelines can be properly followed.

“We asked them to move out, told them they were going to be evicted, and that’s when everything just escalated down,” said Martinez, whose family shared surveillance camera footage of an April 15 dispute between them and the man living in the efficiency.

The footage shows the man pick up a dog by its neck and then after placing it inside, he turns toward the family and flashes several gang signs in their direction.

“This is the worst,” said Martinez.

“She yelled at me saying ‘Oh, we’re never going to move out. We’re never going to move out’ with this COVID-19 going on,” added Martinez, referring to a recent argument she had with the woman’s daughter.

City Council rejects 60-day grace period before eviction proceedings

The KSAT 12 Defenders confirmed Friday the woman who first moved in has four active criminal warrants out of a Comal County court.

People were inside the efficiency when the Defenders stopped by for comment but they did not come to the door.


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