The last time Dan Neal saw Terry Shockley was Feb. 5 when they met in Neal’s newest property, the Patterson apartment complex, for their monthly meeting.
The two casually discussed the two properties that Neal owns and Shockley’s company, Eugene Rentals or TS Property Managements, manages.
That same day, Shockley’s company was forced into receivership due to the cash shortages in its trust accounts. Washington-based financial company Pivotal Solution Inc. was appointed to determine the amount of leftover cash.
One week later, Shockley was reported missing with an estimated $4 million. His company manages 3,500 units around the campus area.
“It was a shock,” Neal said. “Looking back, it is really hard to comprehend what was really in his mind.”
When it comes to housing properties, property management companies are responsible for filling apartments with occupants, providing maintenance services, handling lease contracts and managing rent and deposits. Collectively, this money that Shockley was respnsible for, was reported as missing.
Now, the owners are scrambling to look for a new property manager and trying to piece together a puzzle with stolen pieces.
Brian Devereaux, who owns an apartment on 18th Avenue and Hilyard Street that was managed by Eugene Rentals, estimated that he lost $15,000 — including multiple security deposits and two months rent.
“According to what I have heard, no way I’m going to get paid back,” said Devereaux. “And I will have to pay out of my pocket for my tenants’ deposits.”
Property owners are having to work closely with their tenants to facilitate damage control, who had previously interacted primarily with Eugene Rentals.
University of Oregon student Trevor Lan, who signed with Eugene Rentals last December, thought the email he had received from his landlord was a “scam.” Ping Song, a student resident of The Patterson, received a note from Neal’s company informing the change of the property manager, but that rental rate and their deposits would remain the same.
By law, tenants should be credited to their deposits and rent paid for previous months. Property companies handles all documents relating to units. Therefore, students who have signed a contract with Eugene Rentals may not get the apartment they signed for, said Devereaux.
Charlie Durrant, manager of Campus Connection, another UO-area property management firm, said that the situation can be avoided “as long as the tenants have their copies of the contract.”
Until the amount of missing cash is determined, not a lot can be done.
Devereaux made arrangements to switch his apartment over to Campus Connection, where two of his other properties are currently managed.
Terry Shockley’s case is being transferred to the FBI for further investigation, the Register-Guard reported.
“At this point, all I want is Terry to show up, so people could ask him directly,” Devereaux said. “For me and other owners, we are ready to move on and put this behind us; it’ll be nice to talk to him and plan forward in the future.”
Follow Tran Nguyen on Twitter @tranngngn