Millionaire Landlord Moves Into Crime-Plagued Community on a Mission

Houston landlord Steve Moore
KTRK-TV

Maybe it's about protecting an investment, or maybe it's about doing the right thing, or maybe it's a bit of both, but a millionaire landlord in Houston says that he's on a mission to make the crime-plagued neighborhood where he owns apartments a much safer place to live. And for starters, he's reportedly living on-site, spending millions on security, and instituting extraordinary rules for his tenants that include a curfew and dress code. He's also said to have evicted several residents.

"He's very bold," one of Steve Moore's tenants, Jenny Fouteaux, told KTRK-TV in Houston. "He do things I wouldn't do around here." That's included a 10 p.m. curfew and prohibitions against too much clothing (such as baggy, loose-fitting jeans) or too little (as in too revealing). And while tenants such as Fouteaux say that they have have welcomed the change, there's been strong resistance too. "I got a death threat," Moore (shown at left in the above photo) told the TV station," 'cause I figured out who was dealing drugs and gave them an eviction notice." [See its video profile of him below.]

Among the most recent to be evicted, says KTRK, is the family of a 16-year-old who was shot in a domestic disturbance at another apartment complex that Moore and his fellow investors own.

While Moore's decision to live on-site appears extraordinary, in Texas and some other states a landlord can be held liable for illegal activities on their properties even if they are unaware of it, and in some cases can have their properties closed. In most states landlords are expected to at least promote a secure and crime-free environment or run the risk of prosecution or a lawsuit, with Nolo.com pointing out that they're "especially likely to be held liable when a crime occurs on property where a similar assault or other crime occurred in the past."



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