Tenants in a South Florida apartment building say they’re fed up with the lack of working elevators, so they’re fighting for a fixed audience. Karen Hensel from the night shift has the 7 investigations tonight.
Kristina Sharpe lives in this North Bay Village condo, Treasures On The Bay. She loves the view of the water from her balcony on the seventh floor.
Kristina Sharpe: “I’ve been here since 2017. I’ve been here since, this is going to be my fifth year.”
But she says that balcony fire in February, started by one of her neighbors, caused trouble among residents.
Kristina Sharpe: “There was a fire this year because of someone’s barbecue on my floor, which ended up messing up the service elevator.
The fire also destroyed one of the two elevators. She showed us how five months later the elevators still weren’t working, so when her rent was increased by $400 a month to $2,035, she decided to move out, but she couldn’t.
Kristina Sharpe: “The service elevator is the way we could only get my furniture down seven floors, so I had to sign because how am I going to get out of here?”
Tenant: “I can’t move my things. We are held hostage here.
Other neighbors agree, like this man who wanted to remain anonymous.
Karen Hensel: “Do you feel this is a security issue?”
Tenant: “It’s a big security problem. You only have one working elevator, and it’s about to break down, because what’s happening is people are starting to overload that elevator.
That’s why Kristina says she often only takes the seven flights of stairs.
Kristina Sharpe: “My neighbors have gotten stuck in it many times, and they’re literally scared to go in the elevator. I saw once on the Citizen app, my neighbor was stuck in the elevator for an hour with his dog, and you know, I’m not going in the elevator without a phone because of that.
And if she takes the elevator, Kristina says she has to plan for delays.
Kristina Sharpe: “It takes so long to get on the elevator. You have to leave about 15 minutes earlier, because then you stop at almost every floor on the way down.
Miami-Dade County records show all three elevators failed the annual inspection last August. County records also show that the violations have still not been corrected. The company was cited and fined $780. A follow-up inspection is scheduled for later this month.
Kristina Sharpe: “I just hope that the association, everyone will do something about it. You know, that’s what I hope.
And it can happen. We contacted the New York company that owns the building. No one there wanted to comment, but when we asked North Bay Village officials, they sent out the code application the same day.
They spoke with the property manager who promised that both elevators would be fixed within weeks. Applying the code says they will be back to make sure repairs are done.
Karen Hensel, 7News.
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