Love During Lockup and Love After Lockup star Raneka Hayes has had a very difficult time after deciding to move her two daughters from Louisville to Atlanta so that she could be closer to her inmate boyfriend Asonta Gholston after his release from prison.
As Starcasm readers and Love After Lockup viewers are aware, Asonta Gholston died in a car crash on September 1. At the time of his passing, it appears Asonta had a girlfriend named Alexis who was five months pregnant with his baby.
#LoveDuringLockup UPDATE – Raneka shares video clips from Asonta's funeral, as well as a photo standing in front of his horse-drawn hearse. #LoveAfterLockup #RIPAsonta
LINK: https://t.co/KU7drGujwt pic.twitter.com/8BEOMb6RXq
— Starcasm (@starcasm) September 12, 2023
It hasn’t been confirmed, but it appears Raneka and Asonta split up long before the car crash that took his life.
In addition to the difficult relationship issues with Asonta, and dealing with the grief after his death in September, Raneka has also been having some very serious issues with her landlord. Those issues include some allegedly deplorable living conditions in the apartment she rented for her and her daughters.
Raneka sued for eviction
According to Cobb County court records, Raneka’s landlord filed an affidavit for eviction on July 24. The document alleges Raneka was not paying her rent and was violating the terms of her lease in regards to proper maintenance and misuse of the property.
Raneka was served with the eviction by having it posted on her door on August 9.
On the same day the eviction filing was tacked on Raneka’s door, she filed her response.
In regards to the “proper maintenance” issue, Raneka talks AT LENGTH about the numerous maintenance problems she has experienced while living in the apartment — AND how they continue to not be addressed.
Raneka states that she receives government assistance that covers her rent and that they were the ones who elected to discontinue paying rent due to “reoccurring” maintenance issues.
According to Raneka’s filing, those issues have resulted in her apartment failing a housing inspection on two separate occasions.
“All maintenance request are on record with Marietta housing authorities as well,” Raneka asserts.
Here’s an excerpt from the filing with a long list of issues Raneka claims to have been suffering through while living in in the apartment:
This unit has had many issues since day 1 of myself, tenant “Raneka Hayes” moving in. Pest, mold, toilets flushing incorrectly, black rings and goop coming up pipes in toilets, 1 toilet doesn’t work at all, gas leak in furnace, stair railing, german cock roaches & other pest, mice, backdoor unsealed, CO2 in oven detected and was never fixed. Belle Properties was cited 4 times by gas company, gas was shut off twice for CO2 detected.
Raneka says she suffered an ankle injury due to the “stair railing coming out of the staircase wall.” She says the swelling from the injury went down the following day, so she didn’t go to the hospital.
#LoveDuringLockup Asonta's obituary and details on his funeral this weekend. Asonta (Raneka's inmate bf on the show) died after a fatal car crash on Sep 1. He was just 33 yrs old and leaves behind 2 children and an unborn child. #LoveAfterLockup https://t.co/vV1NfikBJQ
— Starcasm (@starcasm) September 9, 2023
The initial eviction filing cites misuse of the property, and Raneka seems to reveal that to mean she has been accused of smoking in the apartment.
“The Landlord of Belle Properties Ms. Leza Brown has never seen or smelled any kinds of smoke in my unit or around my unit,” Raneka states in her response. “I do not smoke at all. Myself, Raneka Hayes has asthma, as well as my oldest child. We have a breathing machine and inhalers. I have medical records to prove that as well.”
More from Raneka’s response:
Something has to be done about this property manager Leza Brown and company Belle Properties. She should not be allowed to make false accusations. This is defamation of character and so disrespectful to me as a person.
This has been a very slow walk in the park. The most stressful 6 months of living in Georgia already. She has done many tenants like this in the past and my old neighbor was one of them.
I was told about her being a slum lord after I moved in. It didn’t take 1 day for me to understand what the neighbor meant by calling Belle Properties & landlord Leza Brown, slum lords.
I am a new tenant in the city of Georgia as of January 1st, 2023. I am from Kentucky and have never experienced anything like this in my entire 34 years. I have never been filed for an eviction and have a very clean rental history. I am a neat freak and have lived in the most upscaled communities. Never experienced this.
Belle Properties have to be stopped from taking tenants’ money and treating tenants as if they don’t work hard for their families to live the right way. If issues were fixed on time, I’m sure that we wouldn’t be having any of these issues.
I believe the landlord Leza Brown needs my $1550 deposit to fix her own personal unit issues not caused by tenants. Maybe she should even consider selling her property because Leza Brown isn’t fit for being a landlord.
I would like to ensure I receive every part of my deposit back, unless, I as tenant caused any damages that may need to be repaired. Which is highly unlikely.
And I would also like to request that “Belle properties” pay all court cost and fees as well. $1550 deposit plus court cost and fees related to this case.
Raneka wins eviction case
There was a dispossessory hearing in Raneka’s eviction case on August 10, with a follow up hearing on August 22. The court docket entry on August 22 indicates there was an impasse in mediation, as well as a ruling from the judge.
The judge ruled in favor of Raneka:
After hearing evidence from both parties, it is hereby ORDERED that the judgment rendered in favor of the Defendant(s), against the Plaintiff(s), and that the cost be assessed against the Plaintiff.
As part of Raneka’s answer, she also filed a counterclaim against Belle Properties. Unfortunately, that counterclaim was “dismissed without prejudice for Premature Filing as to Security Deposit.”
I’m not an attorney, but if what Raneka describes about her experience living in the apartment is true, then she may want to consult an attorney about filing a legitimate counterclaim against her landlord.
And, if what Raneka says is true about other tenants (past and present) having similar issues, then this could potentially become a class action lawsuit.
Congratulations to Raneka for fighting back and winning! I hope she was able to get her issues with the apartment resolved. Or, better yet, I hope she was able to get a different place to live for her and her daughters.