Black Texas mother given eviction notice with smiling emoji: ‘Guess who’s moving? You!’

Sonja Lee, a mother of two sons, says there's 'nothing funny about' going through financial hardship

Sonja Lee is pictured in a photo with her sons. (Credit: GoFundMe)

A Black mother, unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic, was greeted with an insensitive eviction notice taped to the front door of her Texas apartment.

The notice, which Sonja Lee was taped to her door on Monday, Aug. 17, featured a large smiling emoji that appeared to be waving. .

“Guess who’s moving? You!!!” the message read.

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Lee, a mother of two sons, said that she lost her job in March, was denied unemployment and appealed five times. Lee also said that after she was unable to make rent in June and July, she began to talk to the property managers at her apartment complex.

“So y’all think it’s funny to antagonize the person that’s going through financial hardship with putting an emoji stating, ‘Guess who’s moving today?’ There was nothing funny about that,” Lee said about the notice.

The eviction notice in a video screenshot. (Credit: KTRK/ABC 13 News)

Jon-Ross Trevino with Lone Star Legal Aid told Houston’s ABC13 that “this notice doesn’t have any power (and) will not hold up in court.”

He continued, “Just because this notice is on your door, doesn’t mean the landlord is correct in what they’ve done.”

The attorney noted that the notice to vacate must be posted inside the residence and that, in most cases, a tenant must be given three days to leave before an eviction is filed. In this case, the property managers said that eviction would be filed the following day.

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Karya Property Management, which owns the property where Lee and her two children, live said that the representative who created the offensive notice has been suspended. Further, the company sent out a company-wide email reminding managers to only distribute pre-approved corporate flyers.

Lee started a GoFundMe campaign to assist with her rent needs. Her $3,380 goal is been far exceeded. The fundraiser has topped $30,000 in donations.

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