Man Dubbed As ‘Landlord From Hell’ Gets Sued By Virginia Attorney General

A man was called “landlord from hell” because of what he did to his black tenants during the pandemic. The Virginia Attorney General filed a lawsuit against him.

The Details About The Tenants’ Encounter With Their Landlord 

The landlord is David Merryman, and the Virginia Attorney General filed an $8 million housing discrimination suit against him. He reportedly harassed and became racist towards his black tenants. The Daily Beast reported that Merryman referred to his tenants as “n****s” and told them they should go back to Africa. Another tenant, a white person, claimed that Merryman called her a “n****r lover and warned her to pay her bills just like other white people.

Merryman, 56, owns dozens of rental properties in Southeastern Virginia. In the past, he got arrested for threats and assaults and got cited by the local city governments hundreds of times for code violations. The most recent complaints were from his black and female tenants about his behavior and subpar housing. The complaints made it to the desk of Attorney General Mark Herring, thus the $8 million lawsuits.

Image Credit: Flickr/VGU Capital News Service

Lawsuit Is First Of Its Kind 

The lawsuit is a first of its kind, and housing advocates told The Daily Beast they hope this would set better protection for renters. The lawsuit centers on the substandard units that Merryman rented to his tenants.

The Daily Beast Report added that Merryman always promised to repair the homes after signing their lease and paying their deposit, but he never did anything. Merryman will start becoming abusive, racist, sexist, and show unlawful behavior towards the tenants whenever the tenants complain about the units rented out. Further, the lawsuit also said that one tenant got a protective order against Merryman.

Bianca Wilson, a Black community organizer in the area, told The Daily Beast that the lawsuit made her cry because she is happy that Virginia is now taking a stance regarding racism.

Landlord Responds To Claims He Harasses Black Tenants 

Merryman told The Daily Beast he did not target black tenants and that it just happened that many of the tenants who owe him money are black. The Daily Beast quoted Merryman saying, “It just so happens I have no white people that are behind on their rent. Is that a coincidence, or is that just weird?”

He also told The Daily Beast that the lawsuit by the Attorney General is a ruse to go after the landlord who believes in the system. Merryman added that the Attorney General should use his resources to investigate the government for allowing renters to get moratoriums on rent because of the pandemic and their unemployment.