Great story from KNWA on a Fayetteville woman who was asked by her property manager to allow tailgaters to use her bathroom.

The front lawn is rented out to tailgaters during Razorback home games. Jennifer Dykes said her family was made aware of that when they moved in. “Tailgating is part of the process,” she told KNWA (none of the property’s tenants had a lease, however, and had not signed any agreement on the tailgaters). But this year, there was another request to her and her neighbors:

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‘He calls me and says “hey, I have a huge favor, you know I’ve been kind to you, you know I’ve been generous with you up until now. I need to use your bathroom. I don’t have anywhere for tailgaters to use the bathroom, it’s going to be a handful of ladies. It’s not going to be dozens of people coming in and out,”‘ she said.

 

KNWA/FOX24 talked with property manager Michael Kaminski over the phone. He said this has always been part of the bargain of living at this affordable property.

 

“I thought we were all on the same page,” he said. “That I would negotiate a deal with tenants sometimes on WiFi situations if tailgaters needed that or restroom situations if we could not find a portapotty. This year was tight with portapotties because there was a supply chain issue.”

 

Dykes said her neighbor was overwhelmed during the Texas game. KNWA/FOX24 talked with this neighbor anonymously over the phone. She said she and her husband were dealing with COVID-19 symptoms that weekend, and that their concerns were brushed off when she brought this up to Kaminski.

 

Dykes and her neighbor both said letting people into their homes had never been brought up, and the only extent that they had to accommodate the tailgaters was to move their vehicles off the property.

 

“According to my neighbor, she said between 12:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. they counted 289 individuals, a lot of them college-age people and their parents had entered and left their home,” said Dykes.

 

The neighbor also confirmed this number over the phone. She said her husband was the one who tallied each person who came in.

 

“We were all aware that it was going to be as many people who needed to use the restroom, with kind of an emphasis on the ladies, and going to let guys go around the corner and pee on the grass,” said Kaminski. “We cut a deal on rent, taking some of the rent for that month.”

 

The neighbor confirmed the deal on rent, but she said she was threatened with eviction if she didn’t comply. She said she felt trapped by this situation because her family couldn’t afford to leave. She said she was not prepared for the amount of people who entered her home and was uncomfortable with the situation.

Yikes.

Dykes had gotten behind on rent during the pandemic when both she and her husband lost her job; she said that when she refused to let the tailgaters in her home, she was threatened with eviction. Kaminski said it was because she was behind on rent (Dykes said she thought she gotten caught up).

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Always worth reiterating that Arkansas has the worst laws in the country in terms of tenants’ rights.

From KNWA, here’s longtime tenants’ rights advocate Lynn Foster:

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“Arkansas landlord-tenant law gives fewer rights than any other state in the United States,” said Lynn Foster, a professor at the University of Arkansas William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock. She also works for fair landlord-tenant laws through the organization she presides over, Arkansans for Stronger Communities.

 

She said this situation could be argued as a violation of the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.

 

“The tenant has the right to exclusive possession of the premises and can’t be disturbed by the landlord or anyone working for the landlord or anyone the landlord has given permission to come onto the premises,” she said.

 

More at KNWA, which reports that Kaminski said all tenants have to leave by the end of this month because he is closing the property temporarily for renovations; Dykes and her neighbor have found new homes.