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Tenant claims her dream home turned into a nightmare

Posted at 11:48 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 23:58:01-04

Outside the home, a mango hangs from a tree. Online, an ad shows a well-kept three bedroom, one bathroom house.

"It's beautiful. Immaculate. We're like yes. Dream home. And then you get here and it's the house from hell," said Myeisha Muhammad.

Muhammad and her four kids moved into the West Palm Beach home in May. They had been living at a shelter for victims of domestic violence for six weeks, so she was excited to find somewhere with a little more space.  (She said it was okay for us to publish her name for this story.)

Initially, the $1,350 monthly rent would be covered by YWCA, an organization that empowers women like Myeisha.

Starting Tuesday, August 1st, she takes over the rent at the home along 22nd Street.

She showed us the door off its hinges, a rotted portion of a ceiling, a letter from an electricity company that was summoned to fix the air conditioning that declared the system posed a fire hazard and the duct tape painted white where the ceiling should be.

Soon after they moved in, she told her landlord, Mordechay Shemtovi, about the problems on the phone and over text.

"He actually came and seen all this stuff and he says, 'You're going to pay rent August 1st right?' He said that with a straight face," she recalled.

Concerned, Muhammad called code enforcement. Workers found 13 violations including window problems, problems with the plumbing and rotting wood. Problems that only became apparent after signing her lease and moving in.

Mordechay lists a Plantation apartment unit as his business's address, so we paid him a visit.

We knocked on the door and eventually he came before closing the door on us once he realized who we were.

"It's me and four babies living in here and no husband. Full time job and everything and you wouldn't try to fix it at all. There's nothing else to say. There's no conclusion. If I had a mic, I'd drop it," Myeisha told us.

Mordechay has a deadline to get things fixed.  In about 2 weeks the house will be re-inspected and then there'll be a hearing with code enforcement.