Polk Co. man says landlord conned him out of money and - WSMV Channel 4

Polk Co. man says landlord conned him out of money and apartment

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POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A Polk County man says he was conned out of money and an apartment by his landlord.

He's the latest of several renters who claim problems with the same man.

Assistant District Attorney Drew Robinson in Polk County says his office is investigating the owner of "Chestnut Hill Estate" in Benton.

He says they're interviewing several renters who've filed complaints against landlord "Steve Morgan" over the last few years. Another renter just came forward and says he wants to warn others.

Mike Guzzetti filed a report with the Polk County Sheriff's Office a few days ago against his now "former" landlord Steve Morgan on allegations of theft and fraud.

"It's just a hard situation and I don't want anybody else to get done like I was done," said Mike Guzzetti.

Court records show a list of several renters who've filed complaints against Morgan. Morgan told Channel 3, off camera that he is within the law. But the DA's office is still investigating.

Guzzetti signed a lease with Morgan in July, but says problems started the day he moved to Chestnut Hill Estate when he got a smaller than promised unit.  

"He says well I can't help when people are moving and when they're not and I said well I need my money back then and he at that time said it would take 10-20 days for him to return my money," said Guzzetti.

Without the money to rent somewhere else, Guzzetti and his daughter stayed. A few weeks later, he says Morgan kicked him out after Guzzetti said he was stuck out of town and would be two days late on rent.

When he returned, he said some personal belongings were missing and Morgan refused to pay back his deposit.

"Threatened to shoot me, and threatened to take legal action, said I owed him 11 months rent," said Guzzetti.

Assistant District Attorney Drew Robinson says the investigation is in the early stages but if they can prove wrongdoing, Morgan would face charges of "theft by false pretenses."

"I don't want anybody else to lose hard earned money. I work for a living," said Guzzetti.

I did speak with owner, Steve Morgan over the phone, he says he operates within the laws of Tennessee.

He says he will do an interview about the allegations after he's able to consult with his attorneys.

Again, Mr. Morgan has not been charged with any crime.

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