Jason Parker

Elderly Man Seeks Lease Renewal, Asks NBC 6 Responds for Help

A woman reached out to NBC 6 Responds, after her elderly father was told he had to give up his apartment, which is accessible to people with disabilities.

"He's been a very good tenant, as far as paying his rent on time, he gets along with all the tenants, he has no problems with the office staff, everything's been beautiful until now," Graciela Perez said.

Perez's father, Andres Martinez, has Parkinson's disease and uses a wheelchair or scooter to get around. He has lived at the Veranda Senior Apartments in Homestead since they first opened four years ago.

Perez said the management company, the Housing Trust Group, informed her in February they would not be renewing her father's lease after finding damage inside the unit. Perez acknowledges her father did damage some of the unit's walls earlier this year, when he was learning how to maneuver an electric wheelchair.

"He would bang into the walls and he opened a lot of holes in the wall," Perez said.

On Feb. 25, Martinez was given a notice, saying he had seven days to fix the damage. Perez said even though they had paid to fix the walls, her father was still told he had to leave by June 30, the last day of his lease.

"He knows his surroundings, he's comfortable here," Perez said. "It's a handicap-accessible apartment. He has a shower instead of a tub. I don't see why they would want him to move, I just don't see why."

NBC 6 Responds requested an interview with the management company to talk about Martinez's situation, but they declined our requests. Instead, they gave us a statement saying they are "committed to providing safe and clean affordable housing for seniors" but that "…on several occasions, documented and repaired extensive damage that has occurred in this unit."

It goes on to say, "We have made every effort to accommodate Mr. Martinez, but the repeated damage to the apartment is a material violation of his lease and we are left with no choice..."

NBC 6 Responds asked the company to elaborate on the damage they said they had previously documented and repaired. A few days later, when we requested an update, they sent another statement saying they had received "new information" and that they were "happy to be able to renew his lease."

"I'm like extremely happy, I'm ecstatic," Perez said.

Perez is grateful the situation was resolved and her father is able to continue living in the same unit for at least another year.

"It was amazing," Perez said. "I felt like I was in a hole I couldn't get out of. I saw no way out of it until you guys came along and helped us out."

Even if a tenant pays rent on time and has no issues, a landlord is under no obligation to offer a lease renewal.

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