Good Samaritan Village demands rent payment days after residents return to resort

Monday was the first day residents of Good Samaritan Village in Kissimmee were allowed to return home after nearly a month under a mandatory evacuation order. But they are already being told that they have to pay.

Miguel Velez says he was a maintenance worker. He lives with Good Samaritan and retired in January. But he says he came out of retirement to help his neighbors.

Why? Because the Good Samaritan won’t, he says.

“It was borderline criminal, what they did,” Shorty said. ” It’s mean. How can you do this? These people need your help.

The Good Samaritan posted an update on Friday afternoon, telling residents that rent had been suspended while everyone was evacuated, but now that they are back, so are the fees.

There has been some confusion about this, however – some people have heard that they also have to pay for four days in the previous month, but others have not heard of it.

Velez says some of his friends deliberately plan not to pay.

“Because if you don’t pay, obviously they’re going to come to you,” he explained. “So they say, ‘I’m not going to pay until they come home, and then I can ask whatever questions I want to ask them. Because they give no answer. “”

FOX 35 also spoke with another man, a resident’s son, who didn’t want to go on camera. He said in a text: “It’s really upsetting that when you’re trying to get things back to normal, assessing the damage, dealing with insurance companies, trying to get help from FEMA… It’s disheartening that they’re starting to charge rent so soon.”

There are six neighborhoods in the village that property managers say are not fixing – people had no choice but to return to them.

Instead, they will receive a notice to terminate their lease and a refund of their security deposit will be sent to the address on file.

“If the Good Samaritan had treated us in good faith and said, ‘Listen, we’re going to help these people,’ with soup, food, water, clothes – then maybe they wouldn’t. wouldn’t be looked at like that we’re looking at them because they didn’t do anything,” Velez said.

Property managers are cutting $100 off the cost of rent because amenities like the pool aren’t available, but many people we’ve spoken to say that’s not enough.

FOX 35 News has contacted Good Samaritan and is awaiting a response.

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Elaine R. Knight