Tenant Won’t Move from Home

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A man from Luzerne County continues to live in a Salem Township home despite two eviction orders in the last two years.

The situation has left the woman who bought the house wondering if she will ever be able to move into her home. Tenant Robert Holloway stays on even though court papers show he hasn't paid rent since October, 2008.

That has the home's new owner, who just moved here from New York state, steaming.

At $38,000, Jody Kuczenski thought the Salem Township home was perfect for her ailing mother.

"It's a really nice sized home. The price was right," Kuczenski said.

She struck a deal for her mother to buy the house in 2008 with one provision: Tenant Robert Holloway had to leave. It seemed simple. According to court papers, Holloway already was months behind in rent.

In December, 2008, a Shickshinny magistrate ordered Holloway evicted, but he appealed, and according to those familiar with the case, Holloway's appeals and a crowded court docket kept this case tied up in litigation.

"What he's doing is delaying through the appeals process to stay here a little longer for free," Kuczenski said.

In March, her mother, Elaine Yankowski, finally bought the home believing that, with legal proceedings underway, Holloway would be out soon. More than three months later Holloway still lives in the home.

"He has no business here, and he's angry that we're working on the house," Kuczenski said.

"He's eating up my savings," Yankowski said.

She feels cheated. She rents a two-bedroom apartment in Berwick and pays taxes and insurance on the home where Holloway stays as he fights eviction. In one bedroom, Yankowski watches TV. The other room is where she stores everything she has, eight feet high.

"I pay cash for a house. I now pay $600 a month rent, coming out of my Social Security. He's just eating me alive," Yankowski added.

Why is Holloway fighting? His legal appeals offer little insight. His words offer even less. He refused to comment on the situation.

"And he thinks he's the victim here. I'm sorry, but my mother's the victim here," said Kuczenski said.

She and her husband are renovating the house, making repairs and adjusting the kitchen and doorways to accommodate Yankowski, while getting little cooperation from the man still living there, fighting eviction.

"He puts all the ceiling tiles back up after we taken them down to do wiring. He put all the curtains back up. He just does not want to move," Kuczenski added. "It's got to end somewhere. How long can this go on?"

The feud took an ugly turn last week when Holloway's 15-year-old son was cited for harassing Jody Kuczenski. She hopes a final eviction notice will be issued next month, as a lawyer familiar with the case believes Holloway is running out of legal options.