Eviction notice has Norwalk women baffled, angry

Woman, 87, and daughter, 65, say they've never been late with rent payments.
Aaron Krause
May 22, 2014


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.



Hmmm, well this is confusing, one says they never been late making rental payment, then the next paragraph says we got his money, he can come over here n get it? You no pay, you go!


Hmmm, well this is confusing, one says they never been late making rental payment, then the next paragraph says we got his money, he can come over here n get it? You no pay, you go!


I agree lugnut...."never been late with rental payments", "rent isn't in an escrow account", "If he wants his money he can come over here and get it" or "I'll go over there and give him the money". Which is it. They pay or they don't? She talks how she complained the roof leaked, he won't fix anything and then the comment about the money not being in escrow. So, where is the money?
This article is confusing.


basically she was saying he can come get the money or she will take it to him. They have not been late on rent until now. You don't have to have an escrow account to hold rent money. She probably had it put away or in her bank account. It really doesn't matter where the money it that she has. But the owner needs to fix the leaking roof for her. He is the owner and she is the renter, get off his bum and fix the leak and whatever else he needs to fix. She pays rent for petes sake fix it. This article is not confusing at all.


Wrong. As the former manager of a very large apartment complex in Akron, I know for a fact that you cannot legally withhold rent without putting it into an escrow account. That's the law in Ohio.

yea right

Understand one thing..the "landlord" is a "pimp" he gets what "he" wants then you get to stay..he has always been that way..and his wife ignores it


Sounds like they may have had a change of heart after looking around for another place to live if there willing to pay up now. I'm not sure but I think Lot rent in a trailer park is around 150.00 now so there around 250 for renting the trailer and I bet that include's water, sewer and trash pickup. Another 120.00 so how much is he really making off of renting the trailer? Not much room for improvments.


Lot rent in most trailer parks anymore is over $300...


Okay here it is this is my grandma and aunt. They have paid him $400 a month on time every month on the 3rd when my grandma gets paid. They 'RUSSELL' take's her to the bank on the 3rd and she pulls out his $400 and hands it right to him. He has never gave her a receipt for her payment. The payment they are talking about that she has not paid is this months that's it..


I see no problems here other then the owner needs to get off his bum and fix the roof and whatever else needs fixed. Or maybe your grandma should have someone do it and deduct it from her rent. If no paper was signed saying the renter has to do repairs then the owner needs to fix it. Tell your grandma and aunt to start getting rent receipts and I hope they get this all sorted out so they can stay where they are happy. God bless them both!


I'm confused-they got the eviction notice dated april 22nd for THIS months rent?? That makes no sense. And if the roof needed done so badly for so long, why didn't you offer to do it for your grandmother?


Oh god,, Grandma Pays in CASH with NO receipt....sorry, not too bright.

She has absolutely NO written proof she paid anything to him. At least with a check she would have a cancelled check.

No wonder he's messing with her.


I think she has every right to withhold the rent money until he fixes the roof. It's his property and not her responsibility to fix the roof. I think he is just trying to evict her so he won't have to shell out the money to do the repairs. What is he going to do evict every tenant he rents the trailer to when they complain about the leaking roof? Sounds like a slumlord to me.


Legally she can't withhold rent without going to court and putting the rent money into an escrow account. She has to pay her rent into the account and the landlord doesn't receive it until necessary repairs are completed.

oh my oh my

It's kind of hard to take sides in this story without hearing Mr. Russell's point of view. I mean are the water stains new, or are they from previous leakage that's already been fixed? Not everyone paints the ceiling right after fixing a leak. As for the air conditioner, they can't expect to have it fixed if it was broken before they moved in. Their cheap rent might already have "no air conditioning" factored in. I'm simply saying there are two sides to every story, but if Mr. Russell doesn't speak up then he deserves to look like the bad guy. Hopefully these lady's problems will get solved before they get worse.


65 and still living off of mommy? In a trailer? Baller status.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Libel and defamation.


She take's care of my grandma, Because she not able to do everything her self..


Yeah Rickross, it's horrible when family takes care of family. Apparently you don't come from that world.


people are so mean. Her mother is older and cant get around well. She lives with her mother to help her. She doesn't live off her mother.


Rick, You're only 32 , right? , wait till you get older, maybe you'll never be in that situation and maybe you will.

Life doesn't always go the way YOU want it to. It's becoming more common place of multi-generations under one roof. Jus t like it was 60 plus years ago. For basic survival.

Be thankful you're not in their shoes.

swiss family

Oh Rick you heartless imp.. if you were to actually read the story, she is 65 and living with Mom who has breast Cancer.. and is probable putting her life on hold and helping take care of her Mom.. you know... Compassion, Oh I am sorry, you would NOT know about that after all...


Leaky roof, no AC?

The landlord is not living up to his part of the contract.

Consult an attorney.

shovelhead's picture

You live in a trailer. The roof leaked before you moved in. You like the area. Pay or leave. This guy gives you a place to live for cheap....pay the rent or buy your own place.

I can't stand it when people won't pay their own way. In this "no credit - buy here pay here world", you have to accept certain obstacle's......the house sucks & it is reflected in the rent. You are using the landlord's credit to live. go buy a bucket of tar at Rural King & hold the ladder for the daughter.


Just because there where water stains when they moved it doesn't mean it leaked when they moved in. People are so rude and mean.

oh my oh my

There is nothing in the story to say the roof didn't leak before they moved in. Where's the proof? How do you know for a fact that it actually leaks now? The stains could easily have been from an old leak that's already been fixed. Maybe it's just me, but $400 a month seems pretty cheap for rent. I'd like to know why it's so cheap before I simply believe what these lady's are saying at face value.


Its very sad this elderly lady cant live in house that doesnt have a huge water leak. She is in her Golden Years, and should not have to worry about matters like this

oh my oh my

What's your definition of a huge leak? You are assuming the roof leaks, and that it didn't before. That's the problem with these one sided newspaper articles, everyone believes the first thing they read. It's very easy for people to exaggerate when they're telling a story. I'll say this much, unless Mr. Russell wants everyone believing these ladies, then he better shed some light on the situation. However, he could probably care less.

Kottage Kat

No receipt for rent?? Not real smart not to ask. Use money order so you have record of rent paid. Just good common sense. Just saying.


We have asked time and time again for receipts. He'll only take cash for rent that's it..