Battle over Douglasville home intensifies during pandemic

The coronavirus is to blame for millions of lost jobs, and uprooting families from their homes.

Now COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on both a Douglasville renter and landlord.

The tenants have been staying in a rental home on a month-to-month lease, but the landlord lost her primary source of income and now needs to sell the home to get by.

Janet Sterling says she’s done everything right.

She say she gave the tenants adequate notice to vacate the property because times are hard and she needs to sell the home.

The mother living in it says she knows she signed a month-to-month lease, but hoped to buy the home in the end.

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"This was my dream home," renter, Shanita Harris said.

"My kids are going to have to live in another district," she said.

Harris and her kids have grown to love the Douglasville home they've lived in for nearly two years.

The registered vascular tech just received notice from her landlord that her month-to-month lease is coming to an end, and she says she feels blindsided.

"Just last week we were talking about putting up a fence," she said. "How can you evict someone in the middle of a pandemic?"

Sterling says she's not evicting Harris.

A copy of the lease indicates the landlord only has to provide a 30-day notice of the termination of the lease.

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The landlord tells FOX 5 she had every intention of selling the home to Harris, but she can’t afford to wait for Harris to come up with a down payment any longer.

"The pandemic has hit everyone hard. I rent the home to her for $1600 a month which is well below market value. I do not profit off that," Sterling said.

Harris says she has no choice but to uproot and move to another school district, while sterling says she has to sell the home just to get by.

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