Single mother saved to buy Miami home, then the floor collapsed

(WSVN) - A single mother bought what she thought was her family’s dream home until the bottom literally fell out from under them. It’s tonight’s 7 Investigates with the Nightteam’s Brian Entin.

Guirlande Charles is a single mom with nine children.

She worked two jobs as a security guard and nursing assistant to save enough money to buy this Miami house.

Micelyne Labonte, daughter: “She works like half a day, and then she goes to her other job. She is a good mom. She takes care of us. If she doesn’t have money, she tries to make it.”

John Charles, brother: “This is it right here.”

But one year after buying the house…

Brian Entin: “So this is how you have to walk inside?”

John Charles: “Yeah, every day.”

The floor in the living room suddenly collapsed.

The kids were playing when it gave way, and one of the little boys actually fell inside the hole. Luckily, he was OK.

Guirlande Charles, floor in home collapsed: “I need someone to help me, please. Single mother with nine kids. I need some help.”

This is how the children get across the living room now.

Their uncle carries them one by one.

John Charles: “You got rats. You got snakes. You got all kinds of stuff under the house. That’s not good for the kids.”

We looked into the property records for the house.

In 2017, investors bought it for $79,000.

They flipped the house and sold it to Guirlande for $250,000 just nine months later.

The listing said it was, “totally renewed. New beautiful modern kitchen, bathrooms were completely remodeled, wood floors…” and “…being sold as-is with no warranties.”

The City of Miami says there were no permits pulled during the remodeling.

John Charles: “They really made a killing off my sister, you know what I mean? They bought this house for $80,000, and they just made it look good, do this and do that, to just make a sale. They don’t care.”

I called one of the investors who owned the house and asked if there were issues with the foundation, but he hung up on me.

John Charles: “All this is going to collapse. All this right here. You already see the dent, and that’s exactly what happened over there.”

The family says floors in other rooms also feel like they could give way.

Micelyne Labonte: “I feel like other parts are going to break, and then the whole house is going to fall.”

The City of Miami sent an inspector to check out the house, and they determined it is unsafe, requiring Guirlande to make major repairs.

She’s working with her insurance company, hoping they’ll cover the damage.

Guirlande Charles: “I’m trying to make my life and my kids’ life happy. Now, I don’t have nothing to do now. I’m broke now.”

Guirlande says she had a home inspection done when she bought the house, and there were no major problems found. She’s now in desperate need of help and has set up a GoFundMe.

Link to family’s GoFundMe fundraiser for home repairs


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