“I am standing here in front of my house with all my friends talking to the news media because I am being evicted. I have lived in this house for 27 blessed years with my family and husband who passed away a few years ago. Now I have to face eviction and it is embarrassing for me to be evicted because I always paid my rent on time and did everything I was supposed to do,” Mrs. Juliet Brown said at a press conference in her front yard.
Ms. Juliet, as everyone calls her, had the same landlord for over 23 years but a few years ago her house was sold to a real estate company and Dustin Maxwell bought it from that company. He promised Ms. Juliet that she could stay in the house and wrote a note to that effect and gave it to her but now has gone back on his promise.
Here is what the note he wrote said:
My name is Dustin Maxwell, and I will probably buy this house, but I will only buy it if you stay in the house.
I am a local person (I live in midtown Atlanta) and not part of some big company. I only want to buy it if you plan to stay in the house for the years to come. I would like to chat with you if possible so I can get an inspection done.
After 23 years in the house, I promise, I want you to stay.
Dustin Maxwell is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Jetsetter Capital a real estate investment and property management company located in Atlanta.
Recently the Jetsetter Capital website was blocked after the Housing Justice League (HJL) made Maxwell’s eviction of Ms. Juliet public. The website now requires a password to access the company’s information, so no additional information on Jetsetter Capital can be obtained. The lockdown makes advocates of Ms. Juliet’s eviction wonder what he is trying to hide?
However, some information was obtained before the lockdown, and here is what is known about Maxwell’s company.
“Dustin entered the real estate market in 2014 and has consistently produced above-average returns. He has ownership interests in over 400 rental units and has managed hundreds of tenants throughout the years. He is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia and has maintained his side job as a commercial airline pilot throughout his investment expansion. He is also incorporated in Florida.”
“He did not tell me he was going to evict me,” Ms. Juliet said. She learned about the eviction when she came home from work and found the eviction note on her front door.
“I asked Mr. Maxwell what shall I do? I don’t have a place to stay. It seemed to me that he did not care and the lease he gave me, he took it back,” Ms. Juliet said.
Unfortunately, there are not many, if any, laws to protect people who rent and pay their rent on time. The law is on the side of the person that owns the house.
What is happening to Ms. Juliet is happening to millions of renters across the nation, not because they can’t pay their rent but because of gentrification. As the price of homes goes up, renters are being evicted so the landlord can sell the home and make a huge profit. People who have lived in Atlanta for generations are being displaced so richer and usually whiter people can buy homes and live closer to the city.
Ms. Juliet does not want to leave the house she has lived in for 27 years for it holds a lot of memories for her and she is a beloved member of the neighborhood. She works close by for the DeKalb County school system serving middle school children food and the children love her and she loves them.
She called the Housing Justice League for help with the eviction and also told them about how he has failed to do basic maintenance in a timely way. In the winter her heater broke and it took Maxwell three months to fit it leaving her without heat during the coldest part of the winter.
In February, Maxwell said he would send someone to repair the tub that was leaking water. When Ms. Juliet told him of her worries that her water bill was too high to pay because of the water leaks. Maxwell said, “Fuck that shit.” She felt disrespected by his reply. The tub leaked for about a year before it was finally repaired and the sink in the bathroom is still leaking. Her last water bill was seven thousand dollars because of the water leaks. She pays what she can each month on the water bill.
“I’m thankful for all the people standing with me and that I’m not alone. I love living here because it is quiet and I love my neighbors. It is close to the expressway and I know how to get on and get to work. I have been working for the DeKalb County school system for 17 years and I love my work,” Ms. Juliet said.
After the press conference, Ms. Juliet had a phone hearing with the judge to determine when or if she would be evicted. The judge reset the case for the 3rd week in November.
Maxwell’s long-time friend, Ryan Bowersox, told the Streets of Atlanta that he does not own any real estate with Maxwell and that Maxwell is in Israel. He came to Ms. Juliet’s house to help with the negotiations after HJL protested in front of his restaurant.
There are two principles on Jetsetters Capital Board, one is Maxwell and the other is Bowersox.
Ms. Juliet is not the only senior being forced from her home by Maxwell, according to a review on Jetsetter Capital’s Facebook which has not been blocked yet.
“This company is not true to their goal. In order to create this “passive income” that they claim. They locate homes occupied by senior citizens and kick them out when they feel it’s time to collect their return. This is not a good company and I wouldn’t recommend them to any person with a grandmother… because they’d kick her out of her home too for a small profit, especially Dustin. He is the mastermind of all of this. Dustin likes to kick windows from their homes for profits,” according to a review by Gabriela Atsepoyi.
Written and photo by Gloria Tatum