Serenity at Highland tenants take their rent complaints to court

Residents face judge over rent payments

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Dozens of residents from Serenity at Highland, formerly known as Serenity Towers, faced a judge regarding confusion on rent payments Thursday.

Management at the subsidized housing facility asked them to pay up, while residents said they already have.

Alma Harris was one of the 27 residents on the docket.

Court records said she owed up to $2,000 in unpaid rent and court fees, but she brought the judge a packet full of documents as proof she paid.

"No one ever spoke to me and said anything about my rent. I would have explained to them that I always pay early," said Harris.

The judge ultimately dismissed Harris' case.

However, the rent fight continues for the other tenants.

10 of the 27 are being represented by Lani Lester of Birch, Porter and Johnson and are due back in court January 17.

Some residents admitted to owing rent, while others were given judgments.

Those judgments mean an eviction can be served if NO appeal is brought in 10 days.

A spokesperson with Millenia Housing Management, which owns the complex, released a statement:

"Serenity Towers is committed to ensuring that lease agreements are equally enforced and that any issues are clearly articulated well in advance of management engaging in a formal proceeding such as eviction. Management remains willing to work with residents in good faith to rectify any outstanding issues with respect to an individual resident's tenancy."

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency urges residents to call their toll-free hotline with any concerns.

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