Marie Hatch is 97 years old, currently fighting cancer, and has lived in the same Burlingame home for 66 years after her original landlord and friend promised her a lifetime lease. Now, thanks to the efforts of the original landlord's grandson-in-law, and current property owner, she may soon be homeless. The man, David Kantz, has stated his intention to sell the house and has given Hatch sixty days notice to move out. Hatch, for her part, is determined not to go without a fight and members of the local community appear at the ready to provide assistance — both legal and financial.
“That woman will not leave her house,” attorney Joe Cotchett told the Chronicle. Cotchett, the paper notes, is a high-profile attorney who has offered to take Hatch's case on pro bono. He intends to take Kantz to court in order to enforce the verbal contract made between Hatch and her original landlord, Vivian Kruse, all those years ago.
According to the paper, when Kruse died she passed the property down to her daughter. When her daughter died, she passed it on to her daughter. All the while the original agreement was honored. It was after Kruse's granddaughter died, and Kantz took over the property, that Hatch was served with an eviction notice.
“He’s greedy,” Hatch, echoing all of our sentiments, told CBS 5 of Kantz. “Why does he have to do it this way? Who told him he has to do it this way?”
If evicted, Hatch won't be the only one suddenly without a home — she currently shares the house with an 85-year-old roommate.
The Chronicle notes that word of the story has elicited offers from readers to pay Hatch's rent at a higher rate, or even to buy the house from Krantz and continuing renting it out to Hatch.
A GoFundMe campaign set up for Hatch by a relative claims that Kantz plans to demolish the house "and build a large mixed-use building on the property." The campaign has so far raised over $25,000 of its $100,000 goal.
Kantz claims that his deceased wife's trust requires the sale of the house in 2016 — and notes that he feels bad for... wait for it... himself.
“I feel bad for the elderly lady," the Chronicle reports him as saying, "I feel bad for my sons, I feel bad for me.”
Hatch, for her part, just hopes she can stay in her home — “I’m old, I can hardly walk, and I don’t have any money,” she told the paper. “Where can I go?"