DeKalb County

‘It was very embarrassing’: DeKalb mother says she was evicted, even though she was paying rent

STONE MOUTAIN, Ga. — Chanel Wright told Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln she was surprised and terrified when DeKalb County law enforcement told her, her family, including her paralyzed daughter and elderly grandmother had one hour to collect their belongings and get out of the property.

“It was a scene; it was very embarrassing also,” said Chanel Wright.

Channel 2 Action News learned Dekalb County Deputies were following a judge’s order after the home was sold at an auction for failure to pay property taxes.

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“I was completely shocked,” Wright said.

Wright says she’s lived in the home since 2018.

DeKalb County Tax Assessor’s records list the owner as a Randall Duncan. Records show Duncan was behind on taxes going back to 2016. A 2022 document reveals Duncan was behind more than $6,000 in back taxes.

The County sent Duncan at least 4 notices dating back to 2016, warning him to pay the taxes, or the home will be subjected to a tax sale.

Wright says she was never warned that she would be evicted by the end of March.


Duncan told Channel 2 Action News he paid those taxes intermittently since 2016.

“If we had warnings, we would have done something in advance,” Wright said.

Apartments advocates say when renting directly from an independent landlord, tenants should check with the city or county’s tax assessor’s office. Each city or county has a corresponding website. Renters need to search the “property look up” option to find the tax information for the rental property.

Wright says she’s caring for her daughter who’s paralyzed from a car accident and her 85-year-old grandmother.  She says because she had to vacate the house immediately, she was forced to leave behind critical medical equipment.

“My daughter’s hospital bed, grandmother’s oxygen tank,” she said.

In a statement Duncan told Channel 2 Action News due to challenges with receiving rent from Wright during the pandemic, he defaulted on paying property taxes on the home.

He said since new owners took possession of the property he hasn’t had any dealing with this property.

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