Homeowner kicked out after renter gets PPO


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After a Craigslist deal gone sideways, a Grand Rapids homeowner is not allowed anywhere near his own property because a renter took out a personal protection order against him.

The home in question on Burton Street SE near Blaine Avenue belongs to Tomy Johnson.

“Everything in that house is mine,” Johnson said.

But he has been living in his car for weeks.

He said it all started when he posted an advertisement on Craigslist to rent out an upstairs room at the house. Quincy Whitfield responded and moved in a little more than a month ago.

Shortly after, Johnson said, the trouble started. He said Whitfield wouldn’t pay rent.

“He hasn’t given me no money,” he said. “Not one dollar.”

He said that when he told Whitfield to get out because he hadn’t paid his rent, Whitfield refused to leave.

“He said, ‘You would have to evict me,'” Johnson recalled.

Then things got worse for Johnson. Whitfield went to court and filed a petition for a personal protection order against Johnson, saying he had threatened him and even pulled a gun.

“He can’t come to the home,” Whitfield told Target 8 on Monday. “This man done pulled a gun on me. I told the police like three times.”

Johnson said he never threatened Whitfield, and instead that Whitfield threatened him. Regardless, a judge granted the PPO.

“Now I can’t go near my own house and still got to make the payments,” Johnson said.

Whitfield said he did pay the rent — $1,000 total — and that he doesn’t have any intention of going anywhere. Monday, he gave 24 Hour News 8 a tour of the house, including Johnson’s room.

Whitfield has a long history of problems with the courts. He has been involved in several money-related disputes, most of which were with his landlords. He admitted to Target 8 he’s had troubles in the past, but said that’s not the case this time.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” he said. “I paid this man.”

When asked if he felt bad about the situation, Whitfield asked, “who?” When Target 8 clarified, ‘you,’ he replied, “Do I feel bad? Yes, I feel bad ’cause it could’ve been resolved in a whole different fashion.”

For now, Johnson remains exiled to his car. He said he just wants his home back. He is going through the process to evict Whitfield and said he is trying to get the PPO reversed.

“I will not rent again,” he said. “I will not lease another room.”

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