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Problems with landlord continue for woman, elderly mother

Aaron Krause • Jun 2, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Valentina Miller and her mother, 87-year-old Ida Schenko, are still living in their trailer house just east of Norwalk.

However, their landlord, Walter Russell, has said he will file papers this week in court for them to be evicted within 30 days.

Schenko has lived in the home for two years with her daughter. They called the Reflector recently, saying they've never been late with rental payments. Nevertheless, Miller said she and her mother received an eviction notice dated April 22 from Russell. It doesn't indicate why he wants them out and he's never told them, she said.

Attempts to reach Russell have been unsuccessful.

The eviction notice gave the women a date earlier this month to leave their home. Doing so "will prevent any legal measures being taken by the undersigned (Russell) to obtain possession," the notice reads.

Miller said this past week, Russell approached them and nonchalantly gave them until this past Saturday to leave. Miller said her landlord told him he has backing from his lawyer in an effort to evict them. But Miller said she called the Huron County Sheriff's Office and spoke with a deputy, who told her the paper is invalid. Miller said the landlord has now indicated he will file this week for her and her mother -- who has health issues and has said the situation has unnerved her -- to leave within a month.

Schenko was sitting on the porch recently and fainted, her daughter said. A neighbor came to her aid, an ambulance was called and Schenko spent all day in the hospital. She was diagnosed with high blood pressure, Miller said.

"We had to call an ambulance for her because she fell right out here," she said, referring to their porch.

"I had stress," Schenko said.

Miller said she feels Russell has something against her.

"He wants us out; he doesn't like me," she said. She added she called the authorities because Russell keeps harassing her and her mother with notices of eviction.

"He's been giving us little papers and stuff," she said.

Miller has said she's repeatedly asked Russell to fix her and her mother's 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.

But Miller said the money is available for Russell to take and she won't withhold it.

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

But Miller said when Russell recently came to her house, he didn't take it; he was "smiling" and handed her an eviction notice.

"It's called harassment," an obviously upset Miller said.

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.

But Miller has planned for the future. She's spoken to her children in Findlay, who are looking for an apartment for them there.

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