PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Locked out of their homes. A Philadelphia landlord is accused of going against a judge’s orders in the middle of a pandemic. The landlord-tenant dispute is unfolding in Philadelphia’s Olde Kensington neighborhood.
The owner of these Germantown Avenue apartments is being accused of locking his tenants out in the middle of a global health crisis against court orders.READ MORE: Tolls Increasing Sunday On 8 Delaware River Crossings Connecting Pennsylvania, New Jersey
Today’s petition is for them to get back into their homes immediately, and also for the landlord to pay a hefty fine every day the order is violated.
The Moscow and Monica Apartments boasts a contemporary look, spacious apartments and modern amenities. But the horror tenants say they are facing at the hands of their landlord has forced them to file a complaint with common pleas court.
Court documents claim landlord Gagandeep Lakhmna has once again locked tenants out despite an order from Judge Joshua Roberts two weeks ago, stating they are allowed to stay.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office jointly filed a petition with community legal services for contempt of court, calling this not only cruel, but a clear violation of the Landlord-Tenant Act.READ MORE: Man Dies After Being Shot Four Times In West Oak Lane, Philadelphia Police Say
Keyless entry was meant to make access easy for families. But canceled door codes have led tenants to find creative ways of getting inside.
Although they’ve paid their rent, some are now staying with family. Others have opted to stay inside for fear of being locked out.
In a statement, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office says “no landlord should get away with illegally shutting off renters’ utilities and locking people out of their homes.”
The plaintiffs and state attorney general’s office are requesting Lakhmna be fined $10,000 for each day he’s in contempt of court.MORE NEWS: Fall Full-Capacity Concerts, Xfinity Live! Preparing To Reopen Has Philadelphia's Stadium District Buzzing With Energy
Judge Roberts decided to hold criminal contempt proceedings at a later date. Eyewitness reached out to the landlord’s attorney for comment. We did not hear back.