YouthPride has not paid rent since June 2011 and is being sued for back rent and late fees totaling more than $40,000, according to court documents filed Feb. 17 with the Fulton County Magistrate Court. The metro-Atlanta agency will also soon be given an official eviction notice from the Fulton Sheriff's Department.
The complaint was filed on Friday, Feb. 17, said Peter Morgan, the attorney representing Inman Park United Methodist Church, YouthPride’s landlord. The agency that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24 is located on Edgewood Avenue in a space on the church's property.
Included in the complaint is a notice that is to be taped to the door of YouthPride by Fulton County Sheriff's officers mandating a representative or attorney of YouthPride appear at the Magistrate Court to answer the writ of possession — the eviction notice — in writing or orally within seven days of it being served.
“If YouthPride receives any formal notification related to what you have identified, YouthPride will act accordingly,” YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul said, when asked by GA Voice about the agency's plan in light of the court filing.
YouthPride sued for $40,000 in unpaid rent and fees, told to leave premises
Board chair Jordan Myers did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the complaint, YouthPride has not paid rent since June 2011. YouthPride entered into an agreement with Inman Park United Methodist Church on July 22, 2010, that was to expire on Dec. 31, 2010. That lease was signed by Myers.
In December 2010, YouthPride and the church entered into a lease extension and rent was agreed to be $4,099 paid on a month-by-month basis. If rent was paid after the fifth of the month, a 10 percent fee was tacked on, according to court documents. That lease was signed by McPhaul, who wrote that he was signing “for the Board of Trustees of YouthPride, Inc.”
The lease agreement also states that if YouthPride did not pay rent 10 days after the first of the month, “the landlord may terminate the lease by giving written notice to tenant and recover damages in an amount equal to all rental payments due.”
“The lease provides if tenant remains in possession of the premises after expiration of the term of the lease without the landlord’s [permission], tenants shall be liable to landlord for twice the monthly rent ($8,198) for each month or part thereof during which tenant remains in possession of the premises,” the complaint also states.
Inman Park UMC sent a certified letter to YouthPride on Dec. 7, 2011, demanding payment for unpaid rent. McPhaul signed that he received the letter.
“Defendants nonetheless failed or refused to pay the amount of rent due,” according to the complaint.
On Jan. 14, 2012, another certified letter was sent to McPhaul of a default notice, again demanding payment. That notice was ignored as well, according to the complaint.
Then, on Feb. 12, the church sent another certified letter to McPhaul terminating its lease with the nonprofit.
The lawsuit also states:
• YouthPride fails and has failed to pay rent now due.
• Plaintiff has terminated YouthPride’s right to possess the premises, and YouthPride is holding the premises over and beyond the term
• Plaintiff desires and has demanded possession of the premises, and the same has been refused by YouthPride.
• Plaintiff requests that a warrant issue for the removal of YouthPride and its property from the premises.