ATLANTA — Atlanta business owners are taking legal action after they said they were wrongfully evicted and even called squatters after paying thousands in leasing fees supposedly securing their spot.
Monica McKelvy and her daughter, Rey Sunshine, bought a building to be a multi-use space. The building would have served as a hair salon, dance studio, music artist development and photography studio.
But just a few weeks before their grand opening, deputies removed all of their belongings and dumped them on the side of the road.
"It really destroyed us completely to have all of your belongings put out," said McKelvey.
The two said they signed a lease agreement and paid a $6,000 deposit. They also spent more than $30,000 on renovations.
Urban Suburban, a property management company, then served them with a petition for ejection.
"It’s actually a devastating situation because it has impacted us financially and it has hurt our hearts," said Mckelvy.
The petition for ejection stated that "US Intl LLC has never given permission to anyone to rent or lease the property and never authorized Monica McKelvey and Rey Sunshine to occupy this location."
It appears to conflict with the lease agreement as well as other documents and correspondence between McKelvey and the owners.
The ejection went as far as to call McKelvey and her daughter intruders and squatters. Rey Sunshine said the statement was hurtful.
"It was like a punch in the face. It hurts because it was a lie and it was offensive," said Sunshine.
Their attorney Sasan Nematbakhsh is preparing to file a lawsuit against Urban Suburban.
"When you do have a binding lease, under Georgia law what the landlord needs to do is give the tenant some notice of termination of their lease, breach of some sort of contract,” Nematbakhsh said.
He said they had no reason and no legal right to force the tenants out. Their attorney also claimed that there are damages to be paid for what they did.
11Alive reached out to Urban Suburban for comment but their attorney chose not to.