Former employee of troubled rental property company speaks out

News

Although Sarah Eastman hasn’t worked for Jones Lease Properties or JP Rentals in six months, hardly a day goes by where she doesn’t hear from a tenant. 

“I talk to to them. They’re like, ‘I’m sorry I know it’s not your problem,'” Eastman said. “[I say,] ‘No, I’m with you and I’m sorry.'”

Each renter shares the same concerns Local 4 News has been reporting for months. 

They say maintenance isn’t being done, they don’t know where to turn in their rent and they are worried they’ll lose their home. 

“At the end of the day, after three years of my heart and soul in that company, you do feel a little responsible and you want to help them,” Eastman said. 

Those are concerns Eastman has too because she’s still living in one of Erik Jones’ properties. 

“[It} seems like he has the upper hand all the time,” she said.

Eastman said her and Jones have been in and out of court over rent payments since April. 

She says Jones owed her wages that cover part of the money and she’s been trying to pay the rest of it, but there’s no where to turn in the check.

“I’ve reached out over and over and over and I get no response,” she said.

Thursday morning she appeared in court, but the judge didn’t rule in her favor. Now she has until the end of the month to find a home for her and her two kids. 

“I guess this is his way of forcing me out,” Eastman said.

For now, Eastman is finding community in a Facebook group of current and former tenants — each posting about their problems. Eastman said some of the posts are “heartbreaking,” including one video where a tenant shows the water damage to her walls. 

“The landlord tried to say that we are doing this,” the tenant said in the video.

Eastman said she’s trying to be there for the tenants she placed, but she’s hoping speaking up will stop other people from moving in. 

“I will forever think about all of these homes, all of these properties and all of these tenants and everyone hurt,” she said. “So closure? I don’t think it exists.”

Local 4 News called Erik Jones, but did not receive a response.

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