DALLAS -- The man identified by News 8 last February as the largest junk property landlord in the city is threatening to evict most of his tenants. Hundreds of residents could be affected.
It comes after the Dallas City Council voted last week to tighten the regulations and enforcement on rental properties. But rather than conforming to the new rules, the owner of HMK Ltd. is threatening to bulldoze many, if not all, of his rental properties by the end of the month.
The letter was sent to city officials and tenants just a few days ago. It reads, “HMK, Ltd, as the landlord, is terminating each and every tenancy at each listed property […] as soon as legally possible;” and after the tenants move out the landlord will either immediately demolish the rental unit or no longer use the unit for residential purposes.
Included in the notice to the city was a list of 305 residential properties that would be affected.
News 8 talked to several tenants Tuesday afternoon who confirmed they were given the option of either buying their property outright or moving out by the end of the month.
HMK is run by a man named Khraish H. Khraish. Last February, News 8 published a map of Khraish's empire, an estimated 400 rental homes and apartments mostly located in west and south Dallas. In one case in west Dallas he owns an entire block of homes.
Some tenants we talked to earlier this year say they were living in poor conditions and getting the landlord to make repairs has been next to impossible.
The city responded by tightening rental property codes, rules, and enforcement. Now, Khraish is responding by forcing tenants to either buy their homes or move.
Some of those residents told us the asking price for their homes is $40,000, which is well above the average $12,000 value assessed by the Dallas County Appraisal District.
Last Tuesday afternoon, the City of Dallas issued the following response:
"At a time when the City is facing a crisis with homelessness, HMK’s mass evictions will likely cause many of its tenants to suffer serious hardships because they may not be able to find suitable alternative housing on such short notice. Regardless, HMK would not need to close so many dwellings had it properly maintained them."
Khraish was not available for comment Tuesday, but has conveyed to tenants that HMK, Ltd. will do what it can to help them relocate.