It’s one thing to be late with your rent and evicted the next day.
But the late-rent tale takes a Roguish twist when you’re evicted while in the hospital after getting your landlord’s permission to deliver the $8,000 check a day late. According to a lawsuit filed Nov. 21 by Oliver’s Bar and Grill owner Samantha Neyrey, that’s what happened to Neyrey—thanks to landlord TMT Development and its development president, Vanessa Sturgeon, granddaughter of downtown property magnate Tom Moyer.
Neyrey, whose restaurant has been a tenant in the 1000 Broadway building for nearly a year, went to the hospital Nov. 12 with a severe anxiety attack that had caused her to miss her Nov. 10 rent payment for the month. She says in her lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, that she had called TMT Development, explained her situation, and was told the landlord would accept the rent the next day.
Yet the following morning, Neyrey says, an Oliver’s employee reported for work at 6:30 am only to find the restaurant locked shut and the locks changed.
Neyrey says TMT told her it would only reopen the space to her if she paid a security deposit of $21,000, or the equivalent of more than two months’ rent. And Neyrey alleges TMT refused to let her and her 17 now out-of-work employees retrieve personal items such as a flat-screen TV, artwork, cordless phones or even her personal medication.
“I cannot believe they are doing this,” says Neyrey, adding she has been late before on payment but always with TMT’s permission.
Neyrey is seeking over $825,000 in damages, including the value of her private property still locked inside the building and the profits she estimates she will have lost by the end of the lease term in 2013. TMT Development didn’t return repeated phone calls for comment.