HIALEAH, Fla. – When it rains, it pours.
That’s quite literally the case for residents of an apartment building at East Ninth Street and Second Avenue in Hialeah, where signs of deterioration are evident inside and out. A resident sent Local 10 News a video of water coming through his ceiling during a recent rainstorm.
That’s not the only problem residents say they’re facing.
They said they’re upset that their power and utilities were shut off Tuesday, mere hours after paying rent.
Juan Mirabal and his mother are among the more than a dozen low-income tenants who call the property home. They paid what they thought was their rent on Tuesday, which includes all utilities, but hours later, the building’s water and power were shut off.
“The conditions (are) not good, no se buena,” Mirabal said.
Only then did the tenants learn the property had been sold to a new owner one week prior—an owner they have yet to meet.
“No water for shower, no electric for air conditioning...not good,” resident Manuel Alfonso said.
Utilities were turned back on by Thursday afternoon.
Local 10 News reached out to the property’s original owner, who told us by phone the money she collected this week was for past due rent for the months of May and June. She blamed the utilities issue on the new owner for failing to hold up their end of a deal to switch out service.
The sale, she says, was prompted by the deteriorating conditions of the nearly 100-year-old structure.
In fact, a recent inspection by a private entity revealed electrical issues with the panel box and signs of a weakening structure throughout, even though local records show the property passed a recertification inspection in 2016.
Tenants told Local 10 News they feel like they are caught in the middle and are worried about their future. They say they’re hearing that they may be able to meet that new owner sometime within the next few days.
But that may come at a cost, they said, because they’re also hearing that their rent could double. Residents said that they just can’t move away at the drop of a dime, so their frustration is far from over, even though they have their water and power, for now.