MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – A group of renters in Miami Gardens are being given an ultimatum: pay a steep increase or move out. But CBS4 spoke with one couple who received a notice a little bit different.
“It was all nice. And it was all nice until we got here,” says Ronnie Lewis, a renter at The Pomelo.
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Lewis and her companion, Johnny, started renting a one bedroom at The Pomelo last July. Everything was going smooth.
“I’m 69. I’m happy, healthy and I go to the gym. I’m trying to make 100,” says Ronnie.
But even her optimism couldn’t match this unexpected dilemma: a notice from her property manager, advising them The Pomelo will not be renewing their lease and they need to be out by August 13.
“Please be advised we will not be renewing your lease agreement. Nor will you be able to remain a month-to-month resident,” reads Ronnie.
Ronnie and Johnny, forced to leave. Unlike their neighbors, who are facing steep rent hikes but were given the option to resign.
“Renters need help,” says Jessica Miles, a renter who lives at The Pomelo.
She says even though she can stay, she doesn’t want to.
“My current rent is $1,611 they’re bumping it up to $2,169.”
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That’s a $558 increase.
“My plan right now is to move.”
And what she’s looking for is simple.
“Reasonable. A reasonable price,” she explains.
But so far, no luck. Plenty of other renters at The Pomelo are stuck in the same boat.
“We need something so that property managers and property owners can’t go up so much. There should be a percentage where they have to stop because it just doesn’t make sense,” says Miles.
Ronnie has yet to be told why she’s being forced out. We called the leasing office and property manager of The Pomelo looking for an explanation, but we are still waiting to hear back.
“I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning because I’m like OK, another day to face this. Where are we going, what are we going to do? There is no answer,” says Ronnie.
Miami-Dade’s Tenant Bill of Rights offers protection to people being evicted and those dealing with massive rent hikes. It is a very lengthy bill, but we have it posted on our website as well as some other information to help renters. The county also opened the Miami-Dade Office of Housing Advocacy to help residents.
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The housing crisis is leaving many desperate for help. That’s why CBS News Miami wants to share your stories to show the crisis you’re in or how you navigated the system. We will highlight these issues and work to get answers and solutions. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.