A Houston mom, who lost her job at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, fought back when she discovered a cruel eviction notice on her door that included a large smiling emoji waving goodbye.
After receiving negative media, the CEO of the property management company is now apologizing for the heartless behavior.
Sonja Lee, 33, told PEOPLE that the economic downturn left her three months behind on her rent. She has been applying for a job and keeping in communication with the property manager about her situation. Things finally turned around when she landed a job that is supposed to start on Monday (August 24).
Yet, the property manager posted the eviction notice on August 17, which brought her to tears.
“I was overwhelmed because, to be honest, I felt like I was in a big hole and I couldn’t get out of it because I was set back so much,” she said. “So it’s like, I’m a single mother with two boys. I do the best that I can and am a very hard-working woman.”
The insensitivity of the notice was especially over the top:
“Guess who’s moving? You!!! Pay your outstanding balance, or release your apartment and turn in your keys to the leasing office by 6:00 p.m. today. Eviction will be filed promptly Tuesday morning, 8/18/2020.”
Several local media outlets shared Lee’s story, which was apparently the motive behind the apology she received.
“Buck stops with me, so yes, I do personally apologize,” said Swapnil Agarwal, CEO of Karya Property Management, according to the ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV.
Lee started a GoFundMe campaign. “With these donations I plan on putting my boys in a house something they never had, there (sic) own rooms a solid foundation stability and growth !!” the page said.
By Sunday (August 23) night, the campaign raised nearly $36,000.