A landlord allegedly cut off utilities to a family in an attempt to illegally evict them.
Florida resident Angelica Paul told how her water and electricity were cut off for days, leaving her family miserable.
Paul was living in her apartment with her six-month-old daughter in April when her electricity and water were suddenly turned off.
She says utilities remained unusable for two days and Paul struggled to keep their child comfortable in the sweltering heat.
“I have a child here and it’s hot in the house. It’s terrible,” she told NBC affiliate West Palm Beach WPTV.
Paul and her family believe she was undergoing a self-help eviction.
This practice, in which landlords cut off tenants’ utilities or change locks to force residents to move out, is completely illegal.
“It was like a slap in the face. How would you feel if that happened to you?” Johny Paul, Angelica Paul’s brother, told the news outlet.
In order to legally evict someone, the eviction must first be approved by the court.
There were no records of paperwork available to indicate this was done, WPTV reported.
If true, that would mean that Paul’s landlord was illegally trying to force them out.
Paul and her daughter drove back and forth between the house and in air-conditioned cars to stay cool.
They also pumped in water from a neighbor’s house to fill the toilet and bathtub to make them a little more comfortable.
“(We) try to take a quick bath or fill up the toilet to go to the bathroom, so that’s exactly what we did here,” said Jermaine Simpson, Paul’s father.
Two days later, the water and power were turned back on after WPTV contacted the landlord and utility company.
“You came out, you did your research, you helped us, and I’m really grateful for that,” Simpson said.
But during the two days without power, Paul’s food and baby formula spoiled, costing them money.
The landlord did not respond to the TV station’s request for comment.