A local rental company declares bankruptcy leaving some tenants wondering who they should pay when it comes rent time.
It’s part of our continuing investigation of Erik Jones and his business ventures.
Our investigation started after a fire destroyed his trucking equipment shop — I-80 Equipment — in February.
We searched court records and found he filed for bankruptcy two months before that.
We’ve spoken with at least a dozen people since then who rent from two of his other businesses: JP Rentals and Jones Lease Properties. They told us those companies didn’t maintain their properties well enough.
JP Rentals filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. The documents show the company owes more than $2 million to creditors.
The company owned and operated Pebble Creek Apartments in Silvis, Illinois, but those units were foreclosed on and taken over by Northwest Bank and Trust in April.
So when one resident found a notice on his door that said December rent payments were due to JP Rentals — and not the management company put in charge by the bank — he was confused.
He couldn’t get a straight answer from the city or property management company about who controlled Pebble Creek, so he reached out to us.
A spokesperson for the banks said after JP Rentals filed bankruptcy, the apartment complex was turned back over to them for the court proceedings.
Documents also show the City of Silvis is owed more than $1,600 for water bills from the Pebble Creek Apartments.
“One of the things we try to do here in Silvis is stay on top of our delinquent accounts,” said City Clerk Jim Nelson, who said the renting company is one of their frequent unpaid accounts.
The resident who reached out to us has lived in Pebble Creek since 1990 and now lives there taking care of his mother who is too sick to move.
“Believe me we definitely would be out of here if we had another option,” he said.
He said when JP Rentals ran it before maintenance stopped getting done and crime increased.
“To see it go such a 180, it’s been very disheartening,” he said.
We reached out to the attorney representing JP Rentals and a spokesperson for the company called us back. She confirmed the checks should be paid to JP Rentals by the first and that putting up the notices was part of their bankruptcy process.