MIAMI – (CBSMiami.com) – Christina Malloy said she has waited months for this moment.
“I am so excited and relieved. It’s been a nightmare, sleepless nights, financial strain and I am ready to take my unit back,” Malloy said.
For Christina Malloy, the past few months have been a war, a fight to get possession of the apartment of her dreams. A foreclosed Miami condo, other buyers walked away from, because somehow a series of intruders, strangers, and squatters moved in and kept changing the locks.
But finally, Malloy met the young woman who has been living behind that locked door for months.
It was a nerve wracking face to face for both women.
“You have hurt me really bad; you’ve caused me a lot of sleepless nights. You know what? I am happy to have my house back right now,” Malloy said.
Packing up her clothes, a dining room set, a TV, Juliana said she’s a student and claimed, at first, she didn’t know she had rented an apartment that was not for rent.
“I’m not a bad person. I’m only new to this country,” Juliana said explaining her situation.
“What country are you from?” asked Chief Investigator Michele Gillen.
“Columbia,” she replied.
She claimed that five months ago she paid a man 3 or 4 months’ rent to live in an apartment in a high-rise apartment in Brickell.
When asked who she had been paying rent to, she replied, “I paid some guy.”
“He never gave me a receipt because he said I will give you a receipt tomorrow and he never,” Juliana said.
She doesn’t have a pass key to get in the front door of the condo but said she has an access card to get in through the parking garage.
Splayed on the kitchen counter are months of warnings.
“The administration filed an eviction against you, you know that,” Malloy told her.
However, Juliana insisted that the building gave her permission to live here for 3 months.
“They say to me you have three months,” Juliana said.
Building management denied it, and has filed suit against her.
“Listen you’ve upset the association here, that’s why they filed the eviction lawsuit that’s public record,” Malloy said. “They did that, they served you. I know you got the service. I know you have the papers so you know what was going on here. You knew what was going on and something should tell you in your heart, in your head I’m not supposed to be here.”
“No what, I don’t understand, but,” Juliana said. “My family is a good family, I’m a good person. I never think that I can be in this problem.”
About the man she says rented her the Miami high-rise?
“What he did was illegal,” she said.
When asked if she called the police about the man, she said, “no.”
She claims she never saw him again.
For Malloy, it’s the end to months of a stressful game of cat and mouse.
“I’ve tried to talk to you many times, every time I came you weren’t here,” Malloy said. “It was an extreme hardship. I cried too many times, I spent many nights week thinking. I hope you learn something from this because I learned something from this too.”
Before leaving, Juliana tells Malloy, “I appreciate your help, yes, patience.”
Malloy eyes the apartment’s walls and says, “Well, it’s over and now I can move in and paint the walls.”
A drama playing out across our community is over for at least one owner.
“Christmas is here today, I feel a lot better. I can’t wait for my husband to come in and see what we bought here together,” Malloy said.