When their landlord told them they had to move out of their Little Havana apartments by the end of the year, many had to find new places to live in the middle of the holiday season.
Miami issued an unsafe structure violation on 1536 SW 9th Street at the end of August, requiring the owner to undergo the 40- to 50-year recertification procedure. The landlord gave notice at the end of October, telling the tenants to leave.
The landlord’s letter said, in part, that although the property at 1536 SW 9th Street is safe for occupation, it does need “major and substantial repair and renovation” in order to be recertified, and that such work may only be done when the structure is vacant and unoccupied.
“It’s really last minute.” “Neither one of us has a clue where we should go,” one ex-local named Daniela Clavijo remarked.
It cost Clavijo $1,250 per month to rent her little studio. The notification that she and the other tenants in the building had until December 31 to vacate the premises arrived when she was five months into her lease.
“We are completely broke.” Just take a look at this. “Affordable housing,” she said. “We’re on a tight budget right now.”
Dania Ochoa, another local, said her husband is the primary breadwinner while she stays home with their newborn. How they’re supposed to make rent payments and save enough to move out of that place is beyond her.
“We feel like no one cares,” Clavijo added.
Even though rumors said otherwise, the City of Miami Building Department said in a statement that no notice to leave had been sent.
“The building does have a safety violation that needs fixing.” Permit applications for structural repairs are being processed, and the owner may request that the building be evacuated to make repairs.
A manager of the property there said no one was available for comment.
According to a quick internet search, the asking price for the house is now $3 million. The listing specifies that the property is being sold “as-is,” with the unresolved code violation.
In the midst of the Christmas season, Clavijo and his family are “simply scrambling” to locate a new home. As the saying goes, “It’s incredibly annoying and disheartening.”
No answer was given to an email sent by the media to the building’s management company, Beekman First Holdings.
The former renter says she has called many times to get her security deposit back, but each time she has been ignored.