Lakeland man’s sewage-filled apartment condemned after 8 On Your Side investigation

A sewage backup flooded Elbert Kilgore’s Belmar Street apartment and destroyed all of his belongings.

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A 74-year-old Lakeland man was stuck living in raw sewage.

A sewage backup flooded Elbert Kilgore’s Belmar Street apartment and destroyed all of his belongings. When his landlord refused to do anything but collect rent, Kilgore knew he had to call 8 On Your Side.

More than a month ago, a clogged line caused raw sewage to flood a building that was turned into an apartment.

“Sewage was coming out the front door from the bathroom,” Kilgore said.

Everything inside the apartment was soaked with sewage, and now mold is growing all over the walls.

The stench and conditions in the apartment are so bad, the 74-year-old has been sleeping outside. He also had to move his belongings outside, most of which are now ruined from sitting in the rain.

“It’s wet, and full of mold. My shoes and all is full of mold,” Kilgore told WFLA.

Elbert says he’s always paid his $505 monthly rent on time.

When the sewage backed up, he expected his landlord to help. But, more than a month later, Elbert said his landlord has done nothing but show up to collect more rent.

“He wanted half the rent on June 3rd,” Elbert said.

Despite several attempts, the landlord that owns the property, Belmar Properties LLC, hasn’t returned our calls.

So, 8 On Your Side called the City of Lakeland.

Officials immediately went to the property and cited the landlord for the sewer problem and various code violations.

City officials also condemned the building, and said no one should have been living in that type of building in the first place.

Now, all that Elbert wants is his belongings replaced and a roof over his head.

“I lost nine and a half years. That’s how long I had been staying here,” he said.

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A sewage backup flooded Elbert Kilgore’s Belmar Street apartment and destroyed all of his belongings.
A sewage backup flooded Elbert Kilgore’s Belmar Street apartment and destroyed all of his belongings.

 

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