MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Liberty City woman who describes her living conditions as “deplorable” is asking for help after power to her unit was shut off Saturday.
Jemeena Grimes says she’s up-to-date on her rent for the small one-bedroom unit at the Liberty Village Apartments.
She says she pays $500 and can’t afford to move out of the apartment at 1231 NW 61 Street, despite the conditions.
“I have mold and mildew in my bathroom, I have been hospitalized for mold poisoning. Rats. Ants. The conditions are horrible,” Grimes said Monday night.
She says the building also appears to have structural deficiencies, as she showed off several holes in the walls she insists were there before she moved in.
“My options are limited. I’m backed into a corner. I’m at my wits end,” Grimes explained.
Her power was cut off Saturday morning.
Retaliation, she calls it, for speaking out against her landlord.
Florida Power and Light says it didn’t cut the electricity.
In fact, FPL says it hasn’t provided service to the unit in more than a year.
Grimes admits she hasn’t paid the company since initially trying to set up an account.
Grimes says she did pay the property manager a $40 fee to connect the power when she moved in last year.
An FPL spokesman issued a statement, which said in part “An FPL repair crew inspected the equipment (Sunday) night and found evidence of extensive meter tampering and/or missing equipment. There are no issues with the electric service that we’re is providing to the property; there are major problems with the customer-owned equipment that the owner should have repaired by a licensed electrician as quickly as possible.”
A crew returned Monday night to change the lock on the meter room.
Records show the building is owned by Miami Beverly LLC, the same company that owns the property featured in a recent CBS4 Housing Horrors report.
Just last week, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado spoke to Michelle Gillen.
“I think that the owners should go to jail,” Regalado told Gillen. “It is simple. This is horrible. These people have nowhere to go. They are living in sub-human conditions.”
A paper trail shows that Miami Beverly operated three Liberty City buildings for nearly two years with expired licenses, but the state granted a new license in December.
Grimes gave us the number to her property manager.
The person who answered the phone immediately hung up, leaving us without answers and Grimes in the dark.
“I’m devastated. I can’t believe this is actually happening,” Grimes said. “I hope no one can actually get away with this.”
City of Miami officials were at the property Monday night. It’s not yet known what their next steps will be.