Weslaco vet says landlord won't provide a handicapped entrance to home
Tue, 17 Apr 2012 04:50:59 GMT —
As a former Marine, Juan Torres has seen his share of deplorable conditions.
He just never thought he would have to live in them.
"Rats, broken windows, exposed wiring, leaky roof," he explained. "I'm living in conditions that you would see in Lebanon... third world countries."
Rent at his mobile home off Business 83 in Weslaco is around $300 a month.
"It's unsafe conditions."
Juan says he can put up with the problems related to what's inside his home, his main concern stems from the result of an upcoming surgery.
"A total knee replacement... They're going to replace the whole thing... socket... joints... everything."
That surgery next month will leave Juan incapable of using the steps to get into his home.
He say his Landlord, Tomas Perez, refuses to provide a handicapped ramp to help him navigate.
Another renter in the mobile home park has one.
Juan, who's on a fixed income, says without the assistance, he'll have to sleep in his car.
He feels it's the responsibility of his landlord to give tenants who are handicapped, or who may become handicapped, equal access to the park.
Tomas Perez says he doesn't run a "welfare" park.
He's also quick to point out how Juan is behind on rent and utility payments.
It's something Tomas says he's working hard to rectify.
"This man is demanding... demanding to make changes quick.... but however he owes the light bill and the rent," the landlord said over the phone.
Ryan: You realize somebody may ask why the heck you are living here? Why are you choosing to live here Why not just move out?
Juan: "That's a good question. That's a good question. It's a possibility... Then again I don't believe the problems should remain here."
Tomas says he would be willing to help his tenant with a ramp if and when all bills are paid in full.
Juan is goes into surgery in early May.