MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - An elderly woman returned to her Miami Beach home on Friday to find all her belongings outside and the lock to her front door changed.
She was evicted by her landlord, all while Hurricane Dorian was a serious threat to South Florida.
The landlord was apparently not happy with the amount of cats inside the woman's apartment, or the mess.
Officials came to catch the cats on Saturday, with volunteers helping as well, all looking to find homes for the felines.
The woman, whose name is Maria, lived in the apartment for 28 years.
She is now staying at a Red Cross shelter in Northwest Miami-Dade.
According to neighbors, the landlord, Mark Muhlrad, wanted Casanas out.
"We tried to pay rent on several occasions," said Rafael Velazquez, neighbor and friend of Maria's. "They were rejected."
Muhlrad refused to accept her rent for two months and executed the harsh eviction without the protocol of notifying the city department that assists in finding shelter for those who may need it.
State records indicate he owns multiple buildings.
"He runs low income housing, yes," said former employee Joe Nodarse. "People used to come 24 hours a day and pay the rent in cash."
Several neighbors tell the same story; they have no lease, pay cash rent month-to-month and have issues with needed repairs that go unfixed. They say they are threatened by the landlord if they complain, and fear being the next sudden eviction should they make waves.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Maria and her family.
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