Problems with landlord continue for woman, elderly mother

Pair continue to live in rural Norwalk mobile home … for now
Aaron Krause
Jun 1, 2014


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.


JMOP's picture

Why in the world would anybody want to live somewhere where they are not wanted?
My advice ladies, is to get out. It may be a nice location, but you're not gonna be at peace if you think your landlord is harassing you. Good luck.


Gotta ask why Mr. Russell needs the negative publicity?

The old caricature of the despicable landlord Simon Legree comes to mind.

Good job NR for keeping up on this story.

Ms. Miller: Consult an attorney.


This isn't news. This is a newspaper. See the problem I'm having?


I love how they say they've never been late...but then later it comes out they haven't paid. I find it ridiculous that the Reflector is running such a slanted article.


I keep reading and thinking the same thing. She said, "If he wants his money, he can come and get it," she continued and said, "I'll go over there and give him the money."

That means she's not paid rent. Regardless of OPINION, you have to pay rent. So she's getting evicted. She didn't follow what the law states and go through the proper channels. Instead, someone contacted the reflector and the idiots there said that since they have a crappy paper, why not slander the landlord. She broke the law by not paying rent. If the light needed fixed she could have called the proper people; the courts, an attorney, a repairman. She didn't, she wasn't proactive. She complained and took the wrong route in solving a problem. Now she's getting evicted and her kids are putting her someplace else. So like I said before the reflector used her like the landlord did. Both took advantage of a bad situation and the sad thing is that the reflector made money off this. The reflector made money (selling ad space and getting hits) off of these ladies losing their home. How sick is that?

Oh and she's going to have to end up paying what is owed in rent. Also, he doesn't have to accept rent once the eviction process is started. I would have smiled, handed her a copy of the paper along with the eviction notice. He's being nicer than I would be.


I see a frivolous law suit in the works... It's his place he can do whatever he wants to it. Fix what he wants or don't fix it, charge what he wants, let who he wants rent it..its his right to legally evict you for whatever he wants. Just shut your hole and get to steppin.

shovelhead's picture

How else are you supposed to evict someone? Give them notice & ask them to leave. When they don't leave, file with the court....end of story. Is this supposed to be news because they are old? Maybe the guy has a family member that needs a place to stay. Blood is thicker than water. Get out.


And for the record... The woman on the left looks like those that you see at a slot machine taking a long drag from a cigarette and then exhales and no smoke ever leaves her lungs.... You know exactly what I'm talking about too.


yes, i do know what you are talking about. i agree..


sorry ladies but you cant just withhold rent. there are legal ways to make your landlord fix the things that need fixed. you still have to pay rent. you should have gone uptown when he refused to fix your roof and made a complaint with the city and put his rent into an escrow account, than he wouldn't have gotten his rent until it was fixed. even if your the best tenant a landlord has ever had it is still his home, and if he wants you out, your out. end of story. i feel bad about your situation but your old enough, and should have known better. a landlord can evict for 1 late payment even if your lease is not up....move girls this guy is obviously a jerk.


This guy is a real Pr**K and a slumlord. But, these women are gonna have to find another place. Because they've been in the wrong, too.


You can't evict anyone in 30 days. Call Municipal Court and they will tell you how long it can take !


Hard to tell, As I recall, all the rent payments were made in cash , he never gave them receipts. HE was in the wrong to do that. He was also in the wrong not to make repairs. But he sure hotfooted it to the bank, with the grandma to get his money.

However, He doesn't have paper proof, either, and can't prove that they "DIDN'T" pay in the past.


It doesn't really matter...they clearly aren't paying now. Plus, I'm pretty sure that running to the paper and bad mouthing the landlord is not a good way to get him to fix things.


landlord doesn't have to prove anything tenant does


I dont see where the land lord has done anything wrong, He's going by the book. There ther ones that screwed up. You dont have to give a receipt but it makes it easy to keep track of whats going on. The fact they got to stay month to month ment they paid there rent. Its when they stopped paying is when the problem started.


THIS LANDLORD IS SCUM pathetic trash people now days taking advantage of the elderly.


How is he taking advantage of the elderly? She hasn't paid her rent. You can't just not pay your rent and expect to live somewhere for free. If she doesn't like the place, move out. There are places for rent everywhere.


The fact they now have a eviction tied to there names, and the fact they publicly have stated that they intentionally hold back rent illegally won't make it easy for them to find a place.


Haha well I figured that one of these people screaming that they are being taken advantage of would want to rent to know, the ones that think people shouldn't have to pay rent...


Big News.....LMAO


How bout them Cleveland Indians? Go Tribe