Las Vegas school evicted from premises, some families unaware of situation
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Las Vegas Valley private school was formally evicted from its premises, and some families were unaware of the legal situation and disputes over rent.
FOX5 learned from the owner of the Greater Las Vegas Academy that last Wednesday, a constable had served a formal eviction and asked everyone to leave the premises. The owner of the school had hoped to exercise other legal options to avert a full closure at the location.
The school offers care and classes for toddlers and school up to to eighth grade.
On Monday, five days after the eviction, families told FOX5 that they were unable to take their children to the Greater Las Vegas Academy. Several people had heard of issues with the landlord and rent. “It comes across heartless, but in defense of the owner of the building, you don’t know what’s transpired,” one concerned parent tells FOX5.
Fox5 obtained emails sent to different groups of parents, and they gave vague details about the nature of the situation.
Last Wednesday evening, the day of the eviction, some parents got this notice: “There seem to be some issues with the owner of the building. Ms. Heather, the owner of the school is attempting to rectify these issues quickly.”
Sunday evening, other parents got this email: “I regret to inform you that GLVAs doors will remain closed until further notice. Heather will still attend the emergency hearing on Tuesday.”
FOX5 asked owner Heather Tomkowski for clarity; Tomkowski said she had hoped to get another court hearing to counter the recent eviction order, but learned she could not immediately do so. FOX5 found three court cases initiated since April over disputes over rent.
Tomkowski alleges building code issues, and how the school paid thousands of dollars for repairs. Tomkowski also states there was a delay in a receipt from grant funding, which led to a delay of rent for June; she also claims the landlord refused to accept rent afterwards to make the rent current.
“Our institution deserves the right to operate in a safe and secure environment. This situation has become a nightmare, and unfortunately, our children have become collateral damage,” Tomkowski said in a press release.
The landlord counters the allegations, and tells FOX5, there was more than four months rent owed and thousands of dollars in unpaid fees and utilities.
“According to our signed agreement it was their responsibility to maintain the building, pay the utilities, the taxes and the rent. Their allegations are totally untrue. I tolerate unfairness up to a certain point. This whole thing is more of a heartbreak for me that you can imagine,” landlord Evangelos Yfantis stated in an email.
Families tell FOX5, they are left to pivot and find quick solutions for care and schooling. A Sunday email to some parents for younger children states “If you are planning on unenrolling your child(ren) I fully understand. Refunds will be handled by Heather. Please let me know so I can give her your information so she can process those for you.”
Tomkowski tells FOX5, she is looking for a temporary location for the school. She is also searching for legal options.
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