Renter gets kicked out of apartment by County after landlord defies zoning laws and court order


Well-known member
Aug 26, 2023
Santa Fe substitute teacher and student, Sean Martinez, received an unexpected eviction notice due to zoning violations in his El Rancho apartment, owned by Richard Trujillo. The property had four homes on a one-home-zoned lot. Struggling to find affordable housing after the eviction, Martinez is considering moving in with his parents. The situation has taken a toll on his mental well-being, impacting his studies and work. Despite Trujillo's denial of eviction, legal complexities and county pressure have caused significant stress. Concerns are raised about the handling of affordable housing issues, including a threat to forcibly remove Martinez's belongings. This highlights broader challenges with rising housing costs in the area.
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Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States
Yikes, I feel awful for this man. All because the homeowner decided to make a single-family house into two duplexes without getting permits. Now this man, and whoever else was living in the other duplex, are kicked out of their homes. I get why it was done, but it feels so wrong.

I hope he is able to find an affordable place to live.
I feel bad about the renter who got kicked out, but you can't deny how incredibly flagrant the landlord was in their disregard for zoning laws. It was kind of shocking to hear how the landlord had "installed a septic tank under the cover of night” for the illegal apartments. County inspectors had also uncovered an unlined greywater tank on the property that was leaking " wastewater from sinks, showers and washing machines into a nearby acequia." I can understand the human-interest element at play here...that poor guy had to move back in with his parents, after all (kind of a first-world problem, right?). In the end, the landlord was so consistently flagrant and out-of-compliance that the County had pretty much no choice but to crack down.