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Tenant defies eviction despite ongoing renovations at Miami building

A tenant refuses to leave an apartment at a condominium building that is under renovation in Miami.

MIAMI – Steve Leidner is the only person living at the Hamilton on the Bay, a 28-story residential building in Miami’s Edgewater bayside neighborhood. He said he was outraged when he received a letter saying he had 60 days to leave and he has refused to do so.

Leidner said he has lived in apartment 2610 for nearly two decades and had a lease until June 2022. He said he was paying $1,496 monthly for the one-bedroom apartment, but his landlord has not allowed him to pay September or October and wants to charge him fees.

“I am not a squatter,” Leidner said, later adding the property owners lied to him when they told tenants they would not be evicted.

Steve Leidner is the only person living at the Hamilton on the Bay, a 28-story residential building in Miami’s Edgewater bayside neighborhood. He said he was outraged when he received a letter saying he had 60 days to leave and he has refused to do so.

The building, purchased by Aimco, is under renovation. The elevator is unreliable and the power and the water service were disconnected during repairs. The small print on the lease allowed early termination. The company offered to cover three months of rent at another property.

“Their solutions were ‘We will help you move out’ to a micro-apartment,” Leidner said.

Aimco blamed the hasty evictions on the urgency to replace the sewer system. Other residents also refused their lease terminations. Leidner is the last guy standing. Attorney David Winker is representing him in Miami-Dade court. Leidner’s attorney said the water and electricity are now on by court order.

11 p.m. report

Steve Leidner thought he wouldn't have to renew his lease until 2022. The property owner had other plans. It's a David and Goliath court case.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."