BETHANY, Okla. -- An Oklahoma woman says she couldn't believe it when she returned home last week to find all of her family's belongings, including furniture, in a dumpster, according to KFOR.
“I came home Saturday, Nov. 11, to find our lives in a dumpster, everything gone," Brandy Mason told KFOR.
The family's couch, chairs, beds, clothes, were in the dumpster. Someone also emptied her son's backpack and took all of the Halloween candy from inside of it.
“Granted, it's just candy, but the fact I had that bag in a closet zipped up and they went into my home without my knowledge, without any eviction notice, without any legal action on me and took our whole life and threw it away," she said.
The new property manager at Western Oak Apartments issued the order.
“Okay, this is for her to handle,” the manager told KFOR. “We've already handled, I've already handled that.”
The manager said she was convinced the family abandoned their apartment since the power had been turned off for weeks and Brandy was behind on rent.
Mason said she was in the process of coming up with the cash for a utility deposit and was spending time at her sister's apartment.
“I'm not denying I’m behind on rent at all, but she had no right to go into my home and take everything away from my children," Mason said.
An abandonment clause in the lease gives the property manager authority to change the locks and take back the apartment without filing an eviction.
“When you sign the lease, you follow the complex's laws,” the manager said.
However, the apartment can only be deemed abandoned if the tenant is behind on rent, appears to have moved out, and taken most of their clothes, furniture, and personal belongings with them. Management is also required to leave proper notice.
Mason says the only notice she ever received was threatening eviction, but there is no mention of her abandoning the property. The property manager says she stands by the decision.
Mason was able to salvage some of the items in the dumpster, but the furniture was thrown over the rail and "completely busted."
KFOR repeatedly tried contacting Wehner MultiFamily, the Dallas based company that owns the apartments but has not received a response.