MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A group of paying tenants in South Florida, living in what can be described as deplorable conditions, are asking for help. Meantime, the City of Miami Mayor spoke out about the situation.

Tenant after tenant living at 6040 NW 12th Avenue opened their doors to CBS4 News.

“This is how we are living. Somebody help us,” shared one man who wondered if conditions might ever significantly change at the housing complex that has come under the city’s spotlight.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado sat down with CBS4’s Chief Investigator Michele Gillen and shared his point of view.

“I think that the owners should go to jail. It is simple. This is horrible. These people have nowhere to go. They are living in sub-human conditions,” said Regalado.

The building is one of three buildings, records show, is owned by a company named Miami Beverly LLC.

It’s business mailing address is a property in New Jersey.

Gillen’s calls to the company have not been returned.

The Mayor said the city of Miami is turning to the courts to try to force the owners to make improvements. The goal of litigation he says is clear and urgent.

“Fix the place. This is all we want. We want the owners to fix those apartments and let those people live like human beings,” said Regalado.

A paper trail shows that Miami Beverly operated three such Liberty City buildings for nearly two years with expired licenses.The state just granted them a current license in December.

“It does not make sense. But at the same time the city of Miami has not been able to check these buildings,” shared the Mayor.

Regalado said the city’s hands are tied in that the power to enforce minimum housing standards was given to the county some four years ago. The city has now voted to try to get it back.

“We officially are saying to the county let us inspect, let us use our inspectors, let us spend our resources inspecting those buildings because at the end of the day they are in the city of Miami,” said Regalado.

CBS4 News has reached out to Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida as efforts continue to press for answers from all stakeholders in the issue.

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