You Paid For It: St. Louis sheriff admits landlord got a bad deal with eviction moratorium

You Paid For It

ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis landlord called FOX 2 to tell our You Paid For It team that he was getting a raw deal under the city’s eviction moratorium and, for the first time, the sheriff agreed with him.

Sheriff Vernon Betts has the unenviable task of serving eviction notices and force families from their houses. But that job has been suspended because of the pandemic. St. Louis Circuit Court Presiding Judge Michael Stelzer barred most evictions.

Landlord Allen Shelton says his tenant won’t pay. He says he no long had money to keep making improvements on the building. To make matters worse, the pipes froze and water got on the electrical boxes, shorting out the power to the first-floor tenant, who Allen says wasn’t paying rent.

When the city building inspector came, Shelton told him to just condemn the building.
But the building inspector just condemned the second floor and not the first floor where the nonpaying tenant lived.

After our interview with Sheriff Betts, the building inspector came back out and condemned the entire building.

Shelton says it sounds drastic but condemning the building was probably the only way to force out a nonpaying tenant.

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Contact You Paid For It

Do you have a news tip for Elliott Davis? His "You Paid For It Series" on government waste has made him a champion of the underdog in St. Louis. Email our investigative unit here.


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