Woman Says Landlord Should Have Repaired Roof Before Irma, Now Forced to Leave Due to Leaks and Mold
SPRING HILL – A single mother of two children says her family is living in unhealthy and unsafe conditions inside their rental home on Drayton Drive, and she says the landlord should make repairs or help her move.
Jillian Pia lives with her son and daughter at 12333 Drayton Drive and have been there for nearly two years. At the end of the first lease in May of this year, Pia says she asked the rental agency, Kings Realty and Rentals, to make repairs to the roof that she believed were mostly cosmetic at the time. Despite several verbal requests over the last several months, only minor repairs were made to the home but not to the roof.
Over the course of the lease, Pia says she kept hearing noises in the ceiling that she thought might be bats or possibly a squirrel. Pia hired an exterminator to inspect the attic, where they discovered a rat infestation. Pia paid $149.00 for the service and was not reimbursed by the landlord, despite her lease stating that rodent extermination was included.
As it became more apparent that Hurricane Irma was going to pass directly over Hernando County, Pia asked the landlord to place tarps on the roof to prevent more damage. As Irma passed through the area, it tore away gutters and soffit that exposed previously hidden mold and extensive roof damaged. That’s when Pia began begging the landlord to fix the roof immediately.
I met with Pia at her home nearly two weeks ago, where she allowed me to view the damage. Pia explained that her son was suffering from breathing problems and that his Doctor suspected mold to be a possible cause. As someone who is extremely sensitive to mold, I became instantly ill and had to leave the residence after just a few minutes inside.After nearly a month of living with large holes in the roof and leaks in her son’s bedroom, King’s owner, Madeline Reyes-Bonilla met with Pia, along with an insurance adjuster and a roofing company. Bonilla told me during an interview at the residence that she offered to terminate the lease and give $1,100 deposit back if Pia wanted to move. Pia first accepted the offer but then changed her mind after realizing that she could not afford to move and put a first, last, and security down on a new residence. Now with the realization that mold could be harming her children, Pia doesn’t know what to do. She is willing to stay at a hotel but she would be unable to pay the rent while they make repairs; however, now Pia says that King’s has rescinded their offer to fix the roof and is demanding that Pia leave the residence immediately, due to her claims that mold is present.
Pia says she will move immediately if King’s will compensate her for having to move on short notice but so far they haven’t agreed to those terms.
Bonilla says Pia can contact her insurance company or file a claim with the homeowner’s insurance after they leave but that King’s can’t be held responsible for her moving costs.
Tests are being conducted to determine if the mold is harmful to humans.
Pia’s close friend created the following Gofundme page to help her raise enough money to move out and find a new home.
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