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Woman turns to Fox 4 for help after rain brings her apartment roof crashing down

Posted at 8:15 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 20:15:39-04

PORT CHARLOTTE — A Port Charlotte woman is desperate for a solution after part of her roof caved-in.

She’s asking her landlord to give her another place to live, but she said discussions have gone nowhere, and she’s worried about rain getting in.

Willie Mae Jenkins showed us the extensive damage to the ceiling inside her house.

“Monday during all the storms. That’s when this happened," said Jenkins.

Now that we’re in hurricane season, she’s worried the debris might only be the beginning.

“I hope I don’t have to swim in my own house," said Jenkins.

Jenkins said she reached out to her landlord, Yvonne Poiser, and over the weekend a worker came and patched the hole, but Poiser told us the roof needs to be replaced, and that can’t happen quickly.

“The roofer tells me he’ll do it. It's within a week. I already, he sent me a contract and I’m going to sign it. I already gave him a deposit," said Poiser.

But for Jenkins, who has to live with the damage for now, a week is a long time.

"I’m uncomfortable. I’m scared something’s going to come in there. I’m uncomfortable," said Jenkins.

But Poiser said she won’t pay for Jenkins to live somewhere else.

"I'm not going to put her up because she owes me $590 for water bills. She has other rooms she can stay in. This room is not her bedroom, it's a back room," said Poiser.

So Jenkins continues to live there for now, using a bowl to catch any water that gets in.

We talked with Attorney Frank Aloia at the law firm Aloia, Roland, Lubbell & Morgan. He said, in this situation, it might be best for Jenkins to ask to terminate the contract and leave, but if she wants to stay, she should to get a judge involved.

“Put the monthly rent that’s the full percent that’s due in the court registry until the court can make a determination and conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the tenant should be provided some type of rent relief," said Aloia.

Jenkins hasn’t decided what she’s going to do yet, but she is sure she’s tired of living like this.

“Just want my house fixed. Anything, I just want my house fixed," said Jenkins.

When we spoke with Jenkins Monday night, she said she doesn’t want to move, so she may end up getting a judge involved to resolve the issue.