Queens couple nearly homeless after 'real estate runaround'

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Thursday, November 3, 2022
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Instead of the getting keys to their new Queens apartment, one couple said they got a real estate runaround and were left nearly homeless. Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side stepped in.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Instead of the getting keys to their new Queens apartment, one couple said they got a real estate runaround.

Out thousands and nearly homeless, they turned to 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda to get their lifesavings back.

Just before moving into a new apartment, Ronin and Karina Rodriguez-Miller had to scramble to find another place to live.

Now the couple has crammed all their belongings from overseas into a single rented room because they can't get thousands back from a broker after their lease fell through.

The U.S. Army veteran was moved to tears twice discussing getting dissed after putting more than $3,500 down on the rental back in August.

"I'm full of anger, disheartened and upset," Ronin said. "We worked nine years to get our own place and that one single man can destroy us in under a month."

Ronin says the broker at the New York Pyramid Group Corp. abruptly changed their lease.

"Couple of days before we were supposed to move, and he voids it and says he puts new dates and says we can move in the 15th," Ronin said.

Then just before September 15, there was another delay he blamed on the boiler.

"That we won't be able to move October 1st, that's when I said what's going on," Ronin said.

So the security guard did some digging and found the boiler issue with their unit was reported last winter. When Ronin asked why it wasn't fixed then, the broker canceled the lease altogether.

"He said that I spoke to the landlord, and he's afraid you're going to call 311 at everything that you see fir that is wrong with the apartment,'" Ronin said. "So he said that he's not renting and gonna give our money back."

They got $1,000 back, but then the company's check for the balance bounced.

"It bounced, it bounced, that was it," Ronin said. "We tried to get a hold of him trying to get our money back and he never responded."

Ronin said he would message them or call them back after giving up their old place and with no savings to put a deposit down on a new apartment.

"Basically technically we had no place to live," Ronin said.

They were homeless, so the former soldier made a strategic move after trying for weeks to get their money - he reached out to 7 On Your Side.

So we called and paid Pyramid a visit at their Astoria office.

The company said the check didn't clear because its bank account was frozen. The rep never gave a reason for refund delay.

But right after we left their office, they ended up paying Ronin almost all their money.

"Now I can feed my wife," Ronin said. "I appreciate everything you have done for me. Thank you Nina Pineda, you're the best, and thank you 7 On Your Side."

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