Leak damaged apartment leaves tenant soaked | News

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Leak damaged apartment leaves tenant soaked
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Roneisha Thomas lives in the Moncrief Village apartment complex.

"I've never had a problem with leaks," said Thomas.

But Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend, Thomas woke up to a major water leak from her ceiling.

"It was about 2:30 in the morning when I woke up," she said.

That was followed by a cracking sound; the ceiling in the living room suddenly collapsed.

"It sounded like wood broke," she said, "When I heard it, I grabbed my baby and moved."

BMLR, the landlord company, hired a plumber to repair the broken pipes in the ceiling.

Thomas was forced to spend two nights in a motel, at her expense, and the damage to her furniture is also at her expense.

"They told me I should have had renter's insurance," said Thomas.

Landlord - Tenant Attorney Daniel Copeland said the property owner has good legal standing.

Copeland said the landlord is responsible for the building and the tenant is responsible for his/her belongings.

"If the tenant had renter's insurance," said Copeland, "she could file a claim for damage. Otherwise, it is out of pocket."

As for the landlord paying for emergency housing, Copeland said there's no obligation.

"It is more of a business decision," said Copeland, "The landlord can either pay the hotel bill or abate the rent for the days she was not able to use her unit."

Thomas said the landlord has agreed to reimburse the hotel expense. She will begin looking for renter's insurance.

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