A North Carolina landlord, Evagelia Eustathiou, is under investigation after she charged a group of North Carolina State University students $23,000 when they moved out, with most of the charges related to a drinking game table. Following an investigation by WCNC Charlotte and WRAL News, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the state’s Attorney General’s Office have opened their own investigations into Eustathiou’s actions. The landlord has since mailed a revised bill to her former renters, reducing the amount owed from $23,002.71 to $4,796.67, but added new charges, alleging the renters refused to allow her to show the apartment to future tenants.
North Carolina Real Estate Commission Investigates Landlord Over Exorbitant Move-out Charges
Following reports by WCNC Charlotte and WRAL News, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the state Attorney General’s Office have initiated investigations into landlord Evagelia (Lisa) Eustathiou. The enquiry relates to Eustathiou’s $23,000 charge to a group of North Carolina State University students who vacated her property in August.
The landlord reduced the charges from $23,002.71 to $4,796.67 after revising her security deposit report. She adjusted a cleaning fee and removed all costs related to a drinking game table. Eustathiou added more charges, however, claiming the renters blocked her from showing the apartment to potential future tenants.
Despite these revisions, Eustathiou, through her attorney, stated that she has no present intention of pursuing the student tenants for amounts over the security/damage deposit. Her attorney, Harry G. Gordon, defended the changed fees.
“The problems Ms. Eustathiou and Apollon, LLC face are tenants who, despite a signed lease and commitments to act responsibly, instead abuse properties,” Gordon stated in a response to WCNC Charlotte and WRAL News.
The NCREC has urged the roommates, their families, and other former renters to file complaints. Several renters have already lodged formal complaints. “The (NC) real estate commission has accepted a group complaint from all of us,” said Nichole Williamson, a mother of one of the students.
The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office has also encouraged former tenants to file complaints. The agency sent Eustathiou a letter, noting her “concerning charges” and giving her 15 days to respond.
People who violate the state’s debt collection law could face steep penalties, according to Legal Aid of North Carolina. State law prohibits unfair debt collection, and landlords can only charge tenants fees that are specified in a lease or allowed by law.
NCSU Legal Services has previously noted that the nonprofit has been aware of complaints about this particular landlord for nearly 15 years.