Sean Hannity Accused Of Serial-Eviction Filings In Georgia To Increase Profits
Using anonymous LLCs, Fox News host Sean Hannity has been, for years, aggressively buying and building a vast portfolio of properties in mostly blue-collar neighborhoods. Though in the weeks following this revelation, Hannity has worked hard to paint himself as a compassionate owner investing only in areas that “otherwise might struggle to receive such support,” tenants at his various Georgia properties have suggested otherwise.
Hannity, who owns more than 1,000 properties reaching across seven states through roughly 24 various limited liability companies (LLCs) said in statement last month that “it is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I am sure, those attacking me have not invested their money.”
Though the state is known for its landlord-friendly laws, Hannity’s four largest apartment complexes in Georgia have seen a spike in court-ordered evictions since he took control of the properties. With a combined 613 units, Hannity’s four Georgian properties, according to the Washington Post, have seen “nearly four eviction filings for every 10 apartments in those complexes.”
One such complex in particular, a 112-unit in West Atlanta saw 94 total evictions filed just last year alone. Susan Reif, the head of the Eviction Prevention Project publicly funded by the Georgia Legal Services Program, has suggested this unusually high pattern may be being used to generate revenue.
“When they are serially filing against the same tenants, they are using the courts as collection agencies,” Reif told The Post, “it appears they are just trying to increase their profit margin by demanding fees under the threat of being evicted from your home.”
Christopher E. Reeves, an attorney for Hannity, was quick to deflect-blame. “Mr. Hannity is not and has never been involved in the management of these properties,” he said. “Evictions only occur after materiel breach of the lease terms, which under Georgia law includes failure to pay rent when due.”
Under Georgia law, records show that for Hannity’s properties, an unpaid cleaning fee is enough to constitute an eviction filing with the court. Veronica McCoy, who had managed one of Hannity’s properties for four months in 2016 said that the company held “a very low tolerance for not paying rent.
“I was told that if someone’s rent was short $2, I couldn’t accept it,” McCoy said, “I thought it was ridiculous.”