CEO apologizes to unemployed Houston mom who got insensitive eviction note, community rallies to help family

Since getting the eviction note, Sonja Lee says her community has stepped up to help her family. One good Samaritan paid two months' rent, and another footed a utility bill. Plus, Sonja will start a new job in four days!
HOUSTON -- A CEO is apologizing after one of his property manager's taped a mean-spirited eviction notice to a tenant's door.

"Buck stops with me, so yes, I do personally apologize," said Swapnil Agarwal, CEO of Karya Property Management. "I wish I had the time and the resources to reach out personally to every one of them who have dealt with any issues at our properties. But I am apologizing personally in case it was insensitive, and if she was really trying to work out a payment program with the property or that she was in communication with the manager, then I accept it's truly our fault."

The self-made millionaire who founded Nitya Capital and owns 42 apartment properties in the Houston area says an apartment manager created the flyer without corporate approval.

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Hear from a single mom of 2 kids who found an insensitive eviction note on her door. "So y'all think it's funny to antagonize the person that's going through financial hardship," she said.

"And we have reprimanded and wrote the manager up," said Agarwal.

That tenant, Sonja Lee, lost her job at a Jack in the Box in March and missed rent in June, July and August.

"I greatly appreciate the apology, and I accept it wholeheartedly," said Lee.

The single mother of two says a regional manager for Karya Property Management also spoke with her over the phone to apologize for the flyer which read "Guess who's moving? You!!!"

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A Vallejo single mother was evicted mid-pandemic - and just six months after giving birth to twins. Unable to find shelter in the Bay Area, they were forced to go to Sacramento.

And since the story was publicized, Lee says community members in Houston have really stepped up to help her.

"It's been so overwhelming, and I am so grateful. I have never experienced anything like this," Lee said.

A generous viewer of ABC13 called Lee's apartment complex and paid two months' rent. Another woman dropped off new school supplies for her sons.

"Another young lady assisted me, she paid all of my light bill," Lee said.

Lee says she is lucky and has a new job lined up starting Aug. 24, and she will not soon forget all the good will.

"I have to pay this forward 10 times fold," Lee told ABC13.

Karya Property Management has established a rental assistance program through their foundation Karya Kares. Qualifying tenants could receive financial help for one month's rent.

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The woman said she and her children were evicted from their home in north Harris County in June after she lost her job due to COVID-19.

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