Tenants in one South Florida apartment building say they are fed up with the lack of working elevators, so they are taking their fight for a fix public. The night team’s Karen Hensel has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Kristina Sharpe lives in this North Bay Village condo, Treasures On The Bay. She loves the water view from her seventh floor balcony.
Kristina Sharpe: “I’ve been here since 2017. I’ve been here for, it’s going to be my fifth year.”
But she says this balcony fire in February, started by one of her neighbors, ignited trouble for residents.
Kristina Sharpe: “There was a fire this year from someone’s barbecue on my floor, which ended up messing up the service elevator.”
The fire also took out one of the two passenger elevators. She showed us how five months later, elevators are still not working, so when her rent was raised another $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 flights of stairs, so I was forced to sign because how am I going to get out of here?”
Tenant: “I can’t move my things out. We are held hostage here.”
Other neighbors agree, like this man who wanted to remain anonymous.
Karen Hensel: “Do you feel like this is a safety issue?”
Tenant: “It’s a big time safety issue. You only have one elevator working, and that’s about to break soon, because what happens is people start to overload that elevator.”
That’s why Kristina says she often just takes the seven flights of stairs.
Kristina Sharpe: “My neighbors have gotten stuck in it like numerous times, and they’re literally afraid to go in the elevator. I one time saw on the Citizen app, my neighbor was stuck in the elevator for an hour with his dog, and you know, I will not go in the elevator without a phone because of that.”
And if she does take the elevator, Kristina says she has to plan for delays.
Kristina Sharpe: “It takes so long just to get on the elevator. You have to leave about 15 minutes earlier, because then you stop on almost every floor going down.”
Miami-Dade County records show all three elevators failed the annual inspection last August. County records also show 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, everybody will do something about it. You know, that’s what I hope.”
And that may happen. We contacted the New York company that owns the building. No one there would comment, but when we asked North Bay Village officials, they sent out code enforcement the very same day.
They spoke with the property manager who promised that both elevators would be fixed within weeks. Code enforcement says they will be back to ensure the repairs are made.
Karen Hensel, 7News.
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