(WSVN) - They thought they had fulfilled their dream to open a place for children to learn the performing arts. They even found a way to raise money to fund the school, and then they got evicted for doing that, which is why they turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Teaching the performing arts, it’s not a job for Jacquanda, it’s a passion.

Jacquanda Jackson: “I’ve always been interested in the arts, ever since I was a little girl, you know? And we just love the fact that performing arts allows you to express yourself, right?”

That’s why Jacquanda and her husband started JNJ Academy: to allow children to express themselves on the stage.

Jacquanda Jackson: “It’s important, because you know, what we offer for these kids in Miami Gardens, it’s an outlet for these kids. It keeps them happy, and it keeps them motivated. A child that can’t be still, in performing arts, we need that. You know, we don’t want you to be still. We want you to express yourself.”

Then, this year, they saw an opportunity to expand their dream and rented a building that once housed a church.

Jacquanda Jackson: “So we decided to take it to the next level and offer a performing arts academy, a school, K through 12.”

They signed a five-year lease at $4,000 a month, and since they were within walking distance of Hard Rock Stadium, Jacquanda says the landlord suggested a way to make money to fund their school.

Jacquanda Jackson: “You know, the building is near the stadium. It’d be great for you guys to rent out the property to the Dolphins.”

That’s what Jacquanda did, signing a contract to let the Dolphins park cars here for $2,000 a game.

And then she heard from the landlord…

Jacquanda Jackson: “And then after the first game, we received a phone call from them about why they were so upset that we had rented the property.”

Jacquanda’s reply was…

Jacquanda Jackson: “Why are you so upset? You suggested it.”

The landlord said they violated the lease because there was a clause that said you could not sublease the property.

Jacquanda Jackson: “We didn’t consider it being a sublease because they were only here for the games, so we looked at it like an ongoing fundraiser.”

The landlord then posted a three-day eviction notice, blocking Jacquanda from getting their desks and supplies out of the building. She then told the Dolphins to pay the landlord for parking during games.

Jacquanda Jackson: “There are just no words that could explain how we feel right now.”

The landlord also wanted Jacquanda to pay $16,000 for the terminated lease.

Jacquanda countered she wanted the $4,000 the landlord had kept from the past two Dolphin games and for destroying her dream.

Jacquanda Jackson: “They not only took it away from us, they took it away from children. They took it away from our staff. We feel robbed. We feel robbed of our opportunity.”

Well, Howard, who is right and who is wrong?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Legally, they are both right and they are both wrong. If the landlord told the tenants they could rent the space for a football game to make money, and the tenants relied on that, then the landlord breached the contract by locking them out. If the landlord did not say that, then the tenants breached the contract, which says you cannot sublease the property. This case could go either way.”

After we spoke to the landlord, she removed the locks to let Jacquanda get their supplies, and she told us she did tell Jacquanda she could rent parking for Dolphin games.

But her granddaughter said they only told her she could have fundraisers there, not rent out parking.

Clearly this could drag on forever.

We suggested both sides withdraw their requests for the other to pay them.

The owner of the property agreed, writing us, “I would like to resolve and depart peaceful, and both parties will not be going after each other for financial gain.”

Jacquanda agreed to settle as well.

Jacquanda Jackson: “Thank you. Thank you so much. We are so grateful for the help.”

Unfortunately, Jacquanda said she spent thousands getting the church property ready for the school. That money is lost.

Fortunately, though, she will start over.

Jacquanda Jackson: “We are still in need of a place right now, so we are asking, you know, for help from the community. It’s important because, you know, what we offer for these kids in Miami Gardens.”

Good luck with that performing arts dream, Jacquanda.

One note, if you are signing a lease and a verbal promise is made, get it in writing.

That simple sentence can avoid complicated headaches for both sides.

And if you would like to help Jacquanda raise the money for a new place for the kids, she has started a GoFundMe page.

Someone not performing the way you want? Ready for the problem to exit stage left? Dance our way, and hopefully our solution will be music to your ears.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser 7News.

To help Jacquanda rent a new place for the children, click here.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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