Local

Tenants accuse local father-son landlords of violating judge’s order, trying to evict residents

FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. — Tenants of a local father-son landlord team are accusing them of violating a judge’s order by trying to evict residents while under state investigation.

We first told you about Joseph Johns and Joseph Johns II in September. The pair own more than 50 homes in Fayette and Greene counties and is facing a number of accusations.

A lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Office alleges they let homes fall into disrepair. They are also accused of intimidation and charging unlawful late fees and interest rates, specifically involving rent-to-own.

“I ended up having to put a new kitchen in, a new bathroom in, all new plumbing, new electric. We spent our entire life savings,” Todd Endsley said. He’s been involved in a rent-to-own situation in Hibbs since October 2020.

“Til this day, if you ask me what the balance is on this house, I have no clue. But I’m still forced to pay this man every month,” Todd said.

Channel 11 found the Johns filed six evictions this month - two in Fayette County and four in Greene.

Initially, the A.G.’s Office received a court order preventing all evictions, but it was eventually altered allowing “good faith” evictions.

According to a representative from the Attorney General’s Office, a “stay” has been placed on the evictions with a court date set for mid-February. Until then, no one will be evicted.

Channel 11 reached out to Joseph Johns Sr. over the phone. He told us he would not comment on the situation on the advice of his attorney.

“I just want to own a house. Both my wife and I are 61 years old. She’s had a major heart attack. I’m sick. We just want to be over with this. We don’t want to live in fear of waking up tomorrow and having an eviction posted,” Todd said.

The Attorney General’s Office is asking tenants past and present to reach out to them. You can do that by going to www.attorneygeneral.gov, call 800-441-2555 or email scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

If you would like to help Ensley and his wife, click here for their GoFundMe.

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