Eviction notice has Norwalk women baffled, angry

Aaron Krause • May 22, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Eighty-seven year-old Ida Schenko’s hands shook.

She gently tried to escort a reporter to a room in her mobile home just east of Norwalk, where stains from a water leak dot the roof. The stains are visible on multiple parts of the home’s roof.

The air conditioner also doesn’t work.

“You cannot breathe here,” Schenko said.

Schenko has lived in the home for two years with her 65-year-old daughter, Valentina Miller. They said they’ve never been late with rental payments.

Schenko and Miller have received an eviction notice dated April 22. It doesn’t indicate why property owner Walter Russell wishes to evict the women.

The notice gives them a deadline of today to comply. Compliance “will prevent any legal measures being taken by the undersigned (Russell) to obtain possession.

“I wish you to leave the following described premises, now in your occupation. … If you are in doubt regarding your legal rights and obligations as a tenant, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance.”

Miller, who was more fired up than nervous Wednesday afternoon — the day she called the newspaper about the situation — said she’s asked Russell repeatedly to fix the leaking roof and he’s not done so. She said she told him until the roof was fixed, she’d withhold rent.

“Why should we pay for it to get fixed?” Miller asked rhetorically. “It’s been like that before we moved in. He (a neighbor) told us.

“He (Russell) won’t do nothing,” said Miller, whose rent isn’t in an escrow account.

Miller told the Reflector on Wednesday afternoon the rent payment is available.

“If he wants his money he can come and get it,” she said. “I’ll go over there and give him the money.”

A reporter repeatedly rapped on Russell’s door, but nobody answered. He didn’t return a phone message seeking comment Wednesday.

Miller said if Russell arrives at her house and touches her mother, she’d file assault charges against him.

“What’s he going to do just wheel her out?” Miller asked rhetorically. “He’s got it in for me. He tries to put my mother against me.”

Miller said despite the problems in the interior of the home, it’s peaceful outside. Her mother, who isn’t very mobile, loves the location. She sits outside on the porch, watching birds.

Outside the home Wednesday, birds chirped above the green landscape. A tree stood outside the house, some of its flowers red.

The scene outside stood in stark contrast to Schenko’s agitated state.

“I’ve been hurt,” she said, referring to her bout with breast cancer. “I’ve been very nervous.”

She teared up.

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