Story of Justice: Jose Faces Homelessness
Jose*, a senior and disabled veteran, had lived in his apartment complex for ten years and was never late with his rent. Then out of the blue, his landlord decided to move back into the unit Jose was occupying. As a result, Jose had to rent another apartment in the same complex. Unfortunately, Jose’s new landlord failed to have him fill out the new tenant application with the condo association, including proof of financial ability under the condo rules. When the association found out that Jose had moved into the new unit, they asked him to fill out the application. As a result of severe illness and immobility caused by a stroke, Jose lost significant income and did not meet the financial threshold requirement for the condo association. The association advised Jose that he would have to move out or they would take legal action to remove him from the property. Soon after, Jose’s landlord filed an eviction action against him. He attempted to work out an arrangement with the association and his new landlord but to no avail.
Jose reached out to Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) for legal assistance. CCLA contacted counsel for the association and it seemed that the association might be sympathetic to the senior’s situation. CCLA provided Jose with pro se assistance including a Reasonable Accommodation Request with the association. However, the association denied his request for Reasonable Accommodation and decided that they would not allow him to stay in the property. Furthermore, his new landlord, who he believed to be a friend, kept pursuing an eviction action against him.
Throughout this difficult time for Jose, our attorneys attempted to negotiate with the association and the landlord. Even though a move was extremely difficult in his physical condition, CCLA advised Jose to keep looking for a new place. Jose was fortunate to find a new place and with the help of Jewish Family Services (a CCLA grant partner) and funds from the Jim Moran Foundation, he was able to receive financial assistance with the moving costs. CCLA was also able to have the landlord’s attorney file a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal with Prejudice in the eviction case.
Why it Matters
Although the move was physically and emotionally draining on Jose, he is now no longer living with the stress of fighting the association nor the constant threat of eviction by the landlord. He has moved into a new home where he is much more peaceful. He is a disabled veteran who served our country and went to law school. Due to the assistance provided by CCLA, Jose was prevented from becoming homeless during the Covid-19 pandemic
*Names and images have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients
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