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FSN appalled as family of 5 evicted from apartment

- FSN Director said landlords are sometimes in violation of tenants’ rights
January 10th, 2017 | Tags: FSN eviction landlords rights tenants Sylvia M. Simmonds
According to Family Support Network, in 2016 some 200 new clients were seen, over 1,300 counseling sessions done, and over 2,000 persons were fed. Photo: VINO/File
Director of Family Support Network (FSN) Dr Sylvia M. Simmonds (centre) receives a donation from the Lions Club of Tortola back in August 2016. Photo: VINO/File
Director of Family Support Network (FSN) Dr Sylvia M. Simmonds (centre) receives a donation from the Lions Club of Tortola back in August 2016. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A call for persons to know their rights, for the police to insist on persons knowing their rights, as well as the landlords to operate within the proper channels when deciding to evict tenants from their properties, has been made.

Director of the Family Support Network (FSN) Dr Sylvia M. Simmonds made the call in an interview with Virgin Islands News Online on Monday January 9, 2017, following the eviction of a family of five by a landlord recently.

The matter was placed on social media and garnered quite a bit of attention and sympathy, including that of the Family Support Network who took the urgent matter into their own hands and linked with a local hotel to provide a place to stay for the night for the now homeless family.

According to Dr Simmonds, the breadwinner of the family had lost their job and unable to meet their obligations; however, she said the matter needed to be dealt with better by all parties involved.

“We are not saying that the landlord doesn't have a right to put them out because that is his business, his means of income, but our problem with this family and other families is the process in which they do it,” she stated.

Too many families becoming homeless overnight

“We have too many families who have come to us who get put out, the lock is changed, and the clients have no recourse because the landlord gave them no written notice and they did not go to the proper channels to get them evicted from their place. You can’t do that, you cannot come at 10:00 A.M. or 10:00 P.M. and say get out, it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes persons don’t know their rights, and also it depends on who the police officer might be who come might say “well that’s his place you have to leave”, rather than say “no landlord there is a process, you got to do it the right way or we are going to charge you,” she continued.

Many women afraid, don’t know their rights

“A lot of these clients are so afraid to deal with it, and take a lot of the crap that they get from landlords and even the victims who deal with husbands who put them out. A lot of the women are not from here and don’t know what their rights are or they don’t have the income to make an issue so they put up with those things,” Dr Simmonds added.

The FSN Director informed that in 2016 they saw 200 new clients, over 1,300 counseling sessions, and they fed over 2,000 persons.

She said FSN recently saw a client who was sleeping in public bathrooms because her landlord put her out.

“We have a lot of women who get put out, the year before we housed two for two and three months and that is money that had to come out of our pocket, these are the issues that we are dealing with and the issues are going to get worse!”

New safe house coming

Dr Simmonds also informed that FSN will soon have a safe house for women and children who are in need. The project is being done in partnership with the New Testament church, and with a place of their own, the persons within the community will be able to be better served through counseling, interview skills and the creation of resumes.

23 Responses to “FSN appalled as family of 5 evicted from apartment”

  • Hmm (10/01/2017, 10:12) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    what happened to the social Development Department, don't they assist with situations like these any more.
    They are not they for going to court with abuse children, only.
  • sunday worship (10/01/2017, 10:16) Like (36) Dislike (6) Reply
    A HOTEL !!!!!! why are the churches not playing their role in the community.... and helping the shelter-less and the hungry ........ this is your duty as the temple of the lord..
    .......so many churches in the BVI..... not one responds to the need to help ......this is shameful .. thank you Dr Sylvia M. Simmonds
    • John Q (10/01/2017, 11:48) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Not one? I guess you can't read.

      "Dr Simmonds also informed that FSN will soon have a safe house for women and children who are in need. The project is being done in partnership with the New Testament church"
    • Spy (10/01/2017, 14:13) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Sunday worship it is obvious you do not fully under the topic at hand and its complexities. The church is not the expert in the matter nor does it have the capacity to deal with all of our troubles.Social degradation cannot be solved by one group of people or organization. It takes all of us as a society pooling our resources together. Let's start with our children, in still the core values that they would need be independent, productive citizens at an early age. This would eliminate the need to depend on the state and other persons to provide some of these basic needs. Education is a know antidote that stem the distresses of poverty.
    • Hmmm (10/01/2017, 17:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Did someone ask the church for help. Sure FSN just send them to a "Hotel".
  • B Savage (10/01/2017, 10:32) Like (33) Dislike (11) Reply
    How about instead of having any amount of kids you can produce.....have the family your income range can support. No wonder the ELITE want to wipe us out smh.
  • cay (10/01/2017, 10:47) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    Ndp head in the sand funny man said things are afluent
  • Landlord (10/01/2017, 10:52) Like (46) Dislike (8) Reply
    What about tenants who owe their landlord up to 3 and 4 months rent? Should the Landlord continue to house them for free while still having to pay the bank mortgage for the same property? Doc, you chatting piss. Take them in to live with you for free
    • learn to read (10/01/2017, 13:00) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
      She said it is the manner in which they are put out! Meaning not giving the tenants adequate notice etc.
      • Huh? (11/01/2017, 15:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        How much notice you really need if you yourself know you've not been paying rent? You should know the time coming.. don't be surprised.
  • weed (10/01/2017, 13:13) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    never has my country been in this state!
  • Really (10/01/2017, 14:01) Like (36) Dislike (7) Reply
    Sylvia needs to stop this crap! She obviously believes in getting by without paying her way. if you are living in an apartment for 3-4 months and cannot pay it is your responsibility to approach the landlord for some arrangement, not vice versa. If you do not or if he does not approve any suggestion, you aught to now that you cannot stay. It is common sense. you know you have to go. I also want to point out that if you are there 3-4 months the Landord has already extended grace.

    In addition, if they cannot pay it is their job to go and seek help. It is not the role of the landlord to secure help for them. That is the nature of the beast. Pay your rent or be evicted.

    Sylvia needs to stop causing sensation just to get money for FSN. This is manipulation. She did not tell you how many months they owed and how many times they have been warned, just that they have been evicted, She is just causing strife. Why doesn't she grandstand when electricity or water and sewerage disconnects a family for non payment? If the landlord does not pay his loan then his property will be sold. he must llook out for his own interest. FSN will not help him.

    How is FSN helping by putting them up in a hotel that is not sustainable? The sensible thing to do is to pay the rent, one would think. This woman is a mess.
    • yes (10/01/2017, 14:30) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
      You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! What happens when the landlord becomes so lenient that they can't pay the bank and other bills and then they themselves end up on the street, then what?
  • blindcrusade (10/01/2017, 16:03) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Start by saying....YES, I don't want to see any one homeless and suffering but!!!

    Is the good Dr. going to pay the mortgage or tell the bank don't foreclose when the mortgage its not paid. Some landlords are in the same shoe as their tenant and its a means for providing a basic living, not all apartments function as a business. I built my home and added an addition unit to help soften the cost. The good Dr said they housed two or three money that had to come out of our pocket so what does the good Dr think happens when they don't pay their rent!!!! FREAKING CRAZINESS
  • qc (10/01/2017, 16:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI gone to HELL
  • Truth (10/01/2017, 17:20) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    I do understand all but let us be honest many ot tenants take rent money to do hair and buy clothes
  • wellsa (10/01/2017, 18:22) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    All i want to know is how much months they have not paid. In addition, what process must the landlords take? Hire a lawyer for $4000.00 to go court to hear they still cant pay then the landlord looses 4-5 months in rent plus the lawyer money? Please stop it as you are not making sense. I am sure they were warned on many occassions. What is the landlord's rights Dr. Of confusion?
  • home (10/01/2017, 19:26) Like (14) Dislike (13) Reply
    Not all landlords is still paying mortgage!
    • But.. (11/01/2017, 08:57) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
      Whether they paying mortgage or not that's not the tenants business... The apartment is their source of income so you either pay the rent or you get the hell out. Simple.
    • Inez (12/01/2017, 18:15) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @home. So because the landlord was lucky enough to not have a mortgage, are you saying they must not still make an income from their rentals or should allow people to stay there rent free? Landlords still have to pay electricity, water, cable, maintenance, insurance etc. You obviously do not own a home.
  • Book sense (10/01/2017, 20:49) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Some times a lot of us have book sense but don't know how to apply common sense with that book sense. Sad story but this good lady must stop her foolishness get her facts straight. May be she living for free in her house. Tell the full story something not adding up. Since you know the law and rights educate the public so we can learn. Invite the banks, lawyers, Tenant's, landlords, Electricity, water and sewerage. What is it you are really trying to do to people. Have the public stop supporting the fsn. This picture is bigger than you. People dont stop doing good if you follow your emotions much people will no get help. Apparently her emotions seem to have been running high when she made this statement forgive her.
  • nonsense (12/01/2017, 05:25) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Doc I had a lady living in my apartment she was a spanish one day she came to me crying telling me that her mom had pass I felt for her because I met her mom such a sweet lady the same time she had come to bring the rent money and was crying about her mom so I told her to deal with the rent when get back from burying her mom because down there you can't keep the dead long on the morgue well listen the woman went to bury her mother an when she came back I give her time to get the rent money well my dear this lady was playing cat and mouse with me she. Was hiding to come home an when she going out to party she would sneak out of the apartment because she didn't want me to see her for 3 months I could see her to get my rent money I say ok well she will come to me now because I had the locks change that evening she came home about 120clock that night an I was up waiting on her and she did came upstairs to me crying telling all about her problem so you see some these people don't to pay their rent but heck out the sharp like razor blade


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