DALLAS -- A local judge has extended a temporary restraining order, suspending a landlord's efforts to evict hundreds of tenants and demolish their homes.
Dozens of those tenants, mostly in West Dallas, showed up in court Monday to watch the proceedings. Their landlord, Kraish H. Kraish, owner of HMK properties, was also there but did not comment.
Attorneys on all sides agreed to extend the temporary restraining order, giving them more time to negotiate the next steps for HMK and the tenants who live in their properties.
Judge Ken Molberg will revisit the issue in a hearing on Nov. 7.
"t's a band-aid but I'm glad it stays in place. This landlord has been retaliating against anybody that's been standing up for their rights in any way shape or form," said Michael Hindman, an attorney who represents six of the tenants.
HMK properties sent eviction notices to 300 tenants in West Dallas after the city tightened rental regulations. The city, and an attorney for some of the tenants, said the move is retaliatory.
For many tenants, the extra time is welcome, but the uncertainty is tough. Many of them have lived in the homes for decades, with limited incomes and nowhere else to go.
"I guess we'll be staying under the bridge like the other people because where are we going to go? We're looking for houses, it's not happening," one resident said.
HMK's attorney says they are open to allowing people to buy their homes, if they can afford them, or stay in their homes through the end of the school year, but it's not clear what would happen after that.
"We want to make sure they're living in a safe, secure home and that they have plenty of time to transition," said Charles McGarry, HMK's attorney.
A joint statement was released Monday by Mayor Mike Rawlings, Mayor Pro Tem Monica R. Alonzo and District 4 Council member Carolyn King Arnold:
"We are pleased with Judge Molberg’s decision to allow the parties additional time to continue what have been fruitful discussions over the past few days. We must work to ensure the rights of all residents of our city to live in safe, clean, quality homes in neighborhoods that are free of blight. The well-being of the tenants is our first and only priority right now."