A woman says her landlord is attempting to kick her out of the apartment she’s lived in for four years after finding out she’s Black. She says her name is not on the lease and that the leaseholder was her roommate who recently died.
It’s unclear if her allegations are valid, but the incident blew up on TikTok all the same.
The woman, Julissa Escobar (@julissaescobar681), posted a TikTok showing an interaction between her, a police officer, and an apparent Florida realtor, who Escobar allegedly identified in the text overlay. There is also another woman in the video. The TikToker tells someone to “get the fuck out” of her apartment.
It’s unclear why the alleged realtor was there. Escobar refers to someone in the clip as the “homeowner,” but it’s unclear who she is speaking to.
“Y’all shouldn’t have invaded my privacy to begin with,” Escobar says. “Get the fuck out and goodbye.”
The TikToker says she “recorded everything” and is going to post it online so that people “can see what kind of homeowner you are.”
The TikToker points to the mail she’s receiving to the apartment.
The TikToker, via text overlay, called it a “failed attempt” to evict her “because the owner was unaware that [she’s] black.”
The TikToker then speaks with the police officer in the video.
Escobar says in a follow-up that she returned to the apartment and saw “there was a lock that was locked that [she] didn’t lock.” She says the property manager was in the apartment and told her that they spoke with the sister of the deceased leaseholder and that the apartment to be cleaned so it would be “ready to rent.” Escobar says the sister knew she took up residence in the unit. She says the landlord then showed up and told her the “same thing” the property manager told her. Escobar says she then called the cops.
In the video’s comments, Escobar further explained that she is a “resident” of the property and that the leaseholder was her roommate who recently died of cancer.
“The property manager came to the apartment to inform me that the landlord wants the apartment cleaned out so she can rent to someone else,” Escobar wrote. “Rent is paid and it’s illegal to move me out.”
She also said the police officer told her the situation is a “civil matter” and advised her to “change [her] locks and call the police if they come back.” She also says they “were escorted off the property.” The TikToker says in another follow-up that she called the “Florida State Board of Realtors” and found out that the realtor does not have a realtor license registered with the board under her name.
The Daily Dot reached out to the Florida Real Estate Commission to confirm the existence of the realtor’s license via email but could not find her name when running a search on the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Licensee database.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the DBPR told the Daily Dot that a “Maria Isabel Stevenazi (License Number: BK3377924) is a licensed real estate broker with DBPR’s Division of Real Estate and serves as the qualifying broker for Investors 1 Realty, Inc., effective February 16, 2017.” The spokesperson added that it could not confirm if Maria Isabel Stevenazi is the woman in the video.
In response to one comment asking her “how does race play any part in this if they were trying to kick you out for not being on the lease?” she said: “because everything they tried to pull was unlawful and unexplainable.”
Commenters on Escobar’s initial video, which got over 1.7 million views, offered her legal advice on dealing with the situation.
Landlord/Tenant Law in Florida states that landlords are not allowed to “force a tenant out” by “using a device that denies the tenant access.”
According to All Property Management, individuals can be considered tenants “even if [their] name is not listed on the lease and they are paying rent,” like Escobar alleges she is. The site advises landlords to not accept rent from those who aren’t named on the lease because then “a guest can be granted the same rights as a tenant on the lease and will be harder to remove.”
“In this situation, [the landlord has] a legal tenant on [their] hands, but not the paperwork to back it up. Therefore, if you try to evict the guest, or the tenants who brought in the guest, you’ll end up with an uphill legal battle involving landlord-tenant law because of the rights they’ve gained in paying you,” All Property Management reported.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Escobar via TikTok comment, the realtor by phone, and emailed the Coral Springs Police Department.
This story has been updated.
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