LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Juan and Migdalia Mercado did what they had to do and left their home at the Riverview Apartments because of flooding.
Management said a cracked toilet tank caused the flooding. But neighbor Ellen Grossbier had no choice but to stay. "I don't want to live there, that's no way to live with your apartment torn up all of the time."
The mess got the attention of the director of Palm Beach County's Code Enforcement Division. Robert Santos-Alborna took a look at the apartment complex last Friday. "We did see insects in the common area. There were issues with ventilation in the common areas. Some of the A.C. units were not working," he said.
Since 2012, there have been 21 complaints. Nine of those are from this year. Management has 30 days to make the necessary repairs.
"This water intrusion now creates issues that impacts the electrical system so now it really escalates to a life safety concern," Santos-Alborna says.
Meanwhile as the Mercado's daughter packed them up for the move. Betsy Ruiz said, "I was leaving the complex on Friday and as well on Sunday - I've had people approach me saying it's about time some started speaking up."
Sarah Grossbier said, "I'm just like, how can people live like this? Nobody should live like this."
Code Enforcement says management of the complex is cooperating and know what needs to be repaired.
When the 30 days are up, code enforcement will return to check on repairs. If not complete, the case could end up before a Special Magistrate.