Tenants in Little Havana building told to get out, but why?

MIAMI, Fla. – Sudden evictions in one Little Havana neighborhood have left a building full of tenants scrambling to find new places to live.

The building is residential, but not far from Calle Ocho, a developing regentrified neighborhood where rents are going up. The tenants believe that the reason their landlord ended the leases is because of the development in the surrounding area and the possibility of more money than the current tenants are being charged.

The landlord ended all of the tenants’ leases and they need to be out by the end of the month.

A resident we spoke to says she doesn’t have another place yet.

“They are not being fair about it,” Jennifer Lopez tells Local 10 News. “We have nothing to do because they gave us that day. We have to move and we have nothing to do.”

Residents were shellshocked at the sudden eviction notice, which told them they needed to leave by Dec. 31, though some renters have signed contracts well into next year.

Residents said the owner claimed they had to do the evictions because they are late on doing a 40-year reinspection on the 1930s building, but that would not be a legal reason to terminate a lease.

Meanwhile, a tenant forced to move says the owners returned her security deposit with a check, which bounced for insufficient funds.

“Please leave the property” was the greeting Local 10 News received at the owners’ office and there were no calls answered by Beekman First, LLC, owned by a family named Matalon and based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Earlier in the day, the same building representative that closed the door when Local 10 News approached appeared at an apartment building in Hollywood, listed as a Beekman office, which has several buildings in South Florida.

Whether these lease terminations are legal or illegal, the tenants we spoke to said they don’t have the resources or the money to fight the building owner.

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."