A former DC United Player is being sued by his landlord – for nearly 90-thousand dollars. His Virginia landlord says Samuel Inkoom not only didn’t pay rent – but he caused serious damage to the property.
Now, Inkoom is nowhere to be found.
This home on S. Monroe Street in Arlington was Paul Willette’s dream home. “I saved for about 7 years, pinching pennies,” says Willette. Was, being the key word. “What we believe happened is that a T.V. was mounted here.” That’s when Willette says the waste line into the home was punctured. “It’s basically collecting everything that is coming down. So over the course of a week or 2 weeks or 3 weeks, what happened is this eventually backed up to a point where it began to overflow. Waste water, sewage water, which is pretty bad,” says Willette. The water soaked into carpets, walls and ceilings.
Paul says he knows who is to blame, but he can’t do anything about it. This all started when Paul went to Afghanistan to work and decided to rent out his home. His first offer came from Samuel Inkoom, who at the time, played for DC United. “He saw the house, fell in love with it, naturally, and wanted to move in. Unfortunately, looking at their financial situation, we weren’t going to be able to approve them.”
Until he received a letter from the General Manager of DC United, saying he would be on the roster through 2015, and be given a $2,000 a month housing stipend in addition to his salary. “We changed our minds immediately. We said we’ve got this letter from the team, it is legit, we would love to help out a player who is coming to the U.S. for the first time and playing for one of our sports teams here in the area. We didn’t hesitate after we got that letter,” remembers Willette. “Unfortunately it was a very bad decision.”
Paul came home from Afghanistan early, but decided to honor the lease with Inkoom and his family. “I had a lease with the gentleman and his family, he has 3 little kids, he had another on the way, and I wasn’t about to uproot them and displace them out of the home. So I found another place to live.”
But the rent checks stopped coming: Inkoom had been traded. “He said, I’ no longer getting the money from the team,” remembers Willette. “I said look, I know it’s difficult but I can give you a couple of extra weeks.” When Willette was not able to get in touch with him after the grace period, he decided to make an in person visit. The place was abandoned. “They didn’t even bother letting me know. They just left their trash here and just left the U.S.” Among the trash, sat two empty big screen T.V. boxes. “So he had money to buy his big expensive T.V. but he doesn’t have money to pay his rent?”
The damage was everywhere, and Willette was devastated. “It’s disgusting in the sense of a health issue, but it’s also disgusting in the sense that someone would do this to a property, not tell their homeowner, especially someone who has gone out of their way to provide an open hand for you to welcome you to the U.S. And then they don’t even tell you that the issue occurred, and they try to cover it up and abandon the property.”
So, Paul tried DC United. After all, they were the reason he decided to rent to Inkoom in the first place. “I said, don’t you feel like you have a moral obligation to help someone out who has helped you? He didn’t seem to care,” says Willette.
DC United released a statement to us: “This is an unfortunate situation. We have helped put Mr. Willette in touch with Samuel Inkoom and his agent, and we are hopeful that the matter can be resolved.”
But the bills kept coming, in fact while WUSA9 was at the house for an interview, another one showed up.
So Paul is suing Inkoom for more than $84,0000, which includes damages and back rent. In the meantime, Paul can’t live in his dream house and he can’t afford to fix it; so he might lose it.
What does he want? “I’ve told them (DC United) honestly, I’m not looking for any back rent or any rent that may accrue, but I believe it would be beneficial to me to have a little help from the team.”
Calls to Inkoom’s attorney have not been returned. Inkoom’s cell phone goes straight to voicemail.