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Renter beats eviction, struggles to get court costs paid

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Posted at 5:31 AM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 09:57:33-04

It started out with a Mesa woman fighting an eviction. Agave Village Mobile Home Park in Mesa took Linda to court over her dog. The park says they've had "multiple complaints" involving the dog and call it aggressive.

Linda, though, calls her dog defensive.

"She's very fluffy. People want to pet her, and I tell them 'do not pet her, let her smell them.' But people do not listen," she says.

After two hours in a Maricopa County courtroom, the judge ruled in favor of Linda. She can stay at the complex and collect attorney and court costs she's paid.

But Linda says collecting those costs hasn't been easy.

"They let me know it was going on my ledger as a credit," Linda says.

Instead, she wanted the $3,300 to reimburse her for those fees she paid.

Linda says she's told that would require her to fill out a W-9 tax form.

Those forms are usually used by subcontractors for tax purposes.

Linda says her court-awarded fees shouldn't be taxable. She refused.

"I'm not doing a job for them. I'm awarded court fees so just cut me a check," Linda says.

When Linda let me know, we went to Treehouse Communities, which runs Agave Village.

"I just got sick and tired of waiting," she says.

We asked why Treehouse didn't send Linda's court-approved money.

In a statement, they say:

"Treehouse regrets that there was a misunderstanding as to whether the resident needed to fill out the w-9 form required of vendors for tax purposes. The w-9 was required of the resident's attorney, whom Treehouse has paid in full. The attorney returned the w-9 and has received and cashed the check. There is no need for the resident to also fill out the w-9. We are sorry for the confusion and have apologized to the resident."

And they overnighted a check.

But they sent the check to Linda's attorney who she already paid.

Finally, she did get a check for $3,234.

And Linda says she already has plans for it.

"I'm remodeling my house," she says.

Linda says she's out more than $100 because the check wasn't sent directly to her.

She's vowing to also get that back.