ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After last month's threat to turn off water to residents at the Citrus Grove Apartments because the previous owners neglected to pay a $40,000 water bill, residents are stepping up their ongoing fight to improve their day-to-day living conditions.
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Tenants have now formed the Citrus Grove Tenant Council. Council president Andrea Norfleet said their goal is simple.
"We want better living conditions," Norfleet said to assembled media Thursday. "We want safe living conditions. We want to be able to ... we want our kids to be able to grow up and live and feel safe in their own environment."
Residents say the previous owners didn't repair broken windows, faulty hot water heaters or other wear-and-tear damages. They did confirm repairs have been getting done since the new owners, Weller Workforce, took over in December, but they want to see that performance continue once all the local media trucks and cameras have come and gone.
"We want them to continue to fix things and not just do it now, because it's on the news." Norfleet said, "We want them to continue after things settled down. We want them to continue to do their job."
Tenants' rights advocates we spoke to for this story applauded the residents' move while also suggesting another option.
"That's always a good idea," said Kimberly Rodgers, Executive Director of Community Law Program. "Tenants can join together, but I think the best thing for people to do if they have questions about their landlord is always to seek legal help."