McHENRY – A McHenry landlord has evicted a family after a late rent payment and claims of unsanitary conditions and a destroyed home.
Frank Velez, a U.S. Navy chief, owns the property at the 2000 block of Concord Drive in McHenry, and had been renting the town house to Doreen and Jason Paddock, who have three children with autism and numerous animals.
The family didn’t pay July’s rent on time. Doreen Paddock said they tried to pay rent July 13, but it wasn’t accepted. The eviction process began six days later, records show.
At the time of the eviction, McHenry County Animal Control removed bearded dragons, geckos, a snake and two cats. The family also had at least three dogs, according to McHenry County Animal Control reports.
Doreen Paddock is involved with The Dog House Humane Group, a foster and adoption animal rescue center. She has posted several fundraisers for the animals on GoFundMe and YouCaring and has requested donations on Facebook, according to social media posts.
McHenry County Animal Control responded to anonymous tips about the residence in mid-July, after a caller had complained of the “massive smell of urine and feces” coming from the house. At the time of the Aug. 23 eviction, there was urine and feces “in every room of the house,” and the Paddocks were ticketed for unsanitary conditions, records show.
Velez, who is stationed in Washington, said damage to the three-bedroom town house in the Morgan Hill subdivision topped $30,000.
“I have insurance, but they have to determine what they can classify as damages,” he said. “I am not sure if it will cover total costs for repair. I have had to spend well over $5,000 for a lawyer, court and travel fees. … I am burning up all of my leave traveling back and forth [to Washington] to get through this eviction process and now the rebuild process.”
Doreen Paddock said the family paid its $1,400 rent on time throughout the lease and fell behind in July because of medical expenses.
The Paddocks’ lease originally ran from Sept. 8, 2015, to Aug 31, 2016, and then continued on a month-to-month basis, according to court documents.
Doreen Paddock said she has severe illnesses and recently had her 20th surgery. She said her family feels harassed and embarrassed by the situation.
“It started getting crazy,” she said.
She said she and her husband are good, hardworking people. She also said the pets in the house were well cared for.
In addition to the animal waste throughout the house, the flooring had been torn out, garbage and empty animal cages were strewn around the house, and the Paddocks’ belongings were out in piles in front of the house.
Doreen Paddock said they had planned to buy the town house and were in the process of fixing it up. She said that’s why the carpet had been torn out. She also said the town house was in need of major work when they moved in. The family plans to file a lawsuit of their own, but had not done so as of Friday, Doreen Paddock said.
The couple has been evicted in the past, according to county records. Doreen Paddock also has been cited for animal control violations and was the subject of a small claims lawsuit from Animal Care Clinic, records show.
“It’s a nightmare,” Velez said. “I am never renting ever again.”