She is nine months pregnant and excited about giving birth, but then her association said she had to move out this month, even though her lease doesn’t expire until November. It’s tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
It’s an incredibly wonderful time for Messiel and Jonathon.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “So excited, it’s our first baby. I just can’t wait to have her already.”
Messiel is nine months pregnant, and the mother and father are ready for the baby.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “Her nursery is done. It’s just whenever she’s ready to come, we’re ready for her.”
A healthy infant about to be delivered to a happy home, and then they heard from the association’s attorney.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “Stating that we had 30 days to move out of the unit, because we didn’t have an approved lease.”
Being told they had to be out by the end of May stunned them because their lease doesn’t expire until November, and the board had done a background check on them when they moved in in 2017.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “We went through the process to get approved. We got approved, been here since 2017, never had any problems. Our landlord is very happy with us.”
The association first notified them in October of 2021 they had not submitted their lease to the board. Messiel says that’s the first time they or the landlord were told they had to go through the board for approval each year.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “If she would have known, she would have simply submitted the new lease.”
So the couple submitted their lease again, trying to solve the problem. The attorney for the condo called Las Vistas in Doral told them they were denied, and the pregnant Messiel had to leave.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “They have no compassion. They don’t care.”
Messiel is not only upset, she’s baffled.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “We are good people. We have no criminal record. My husband is in the police academy.”
Needless to say, days away from giving birth and being told to pack up your baby’s room and get out is not how Messiel expected her pregnancy to go.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “I’m about to give birth, and you guys have put me through so much stress and my unborn child.”
Well, Howard, is it legal to throw the pregnant Messiel and her husband Jonathon out?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “In this case, I don’t think so, because the decision was arbitrary and did not have a legitimate basis. I say that because Messiel and her husband are good tenants with no complaints, were not told about the need to reapply and the board didn’t know either because they allowed the renewal for years.”
We contacted the association. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not, but 30 minutes after our email to the property manager, Messiel and Jonathon received this email from the board attorney writing: “After careful consideration and in light of your unique circumstances, Las Vistas will permit you and Mr. Toledo to continue occupying the unit through November 14, 2022” when their current lease expires.
The Board’s attorney later told us it’s up to the tenant and landlord to know the rules and submit the lease for approval each year. He argued with us that “the Board did not ‘wait until 2021’ to notify the tenants. He said, “the Board did not become aware that the tenants were occupying the unit under an unapproved lease until 2021” and then…
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “I gave birth. There she is, my little baby. Finally here.”
Beautiful little Emma has arrived, bright, sparkling blue eyes, delivered to adoring parents who fortunately, don’t have to be out of their apartment by the end of May.
Messiel Lembert-Toledo: “It is amazing. Is like, ‘what, I created that?’ I love her so much.”
I cannot imagine if Messiel and Jonathan had to pack up Emma and move out this month. Glad it got sorted out, and they want to renew their lease in November. We will keep an eye on them and let you know if they are allowed to do that.
Got a problem in its infant stage? Want to evict it quickly? Contact us, ’cause we have a child-like glee when we help people.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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