Toledo family that lost home in fire finds bad rental deal

TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - A Toledo family thought they had a place to live after a recent house fire.

They paid their money, moved their stuff but their home is still not livable and they can't get their money back. Now that family is looking for that landlord to do the right thing.

The family lost their home on Halloween after a fire. They've actually received lots of support to get back on their feet which included money for a deposit on a new home.

That money is now gone, spent on a place they can't live in.

"It hurts. Just hurts. Homeless with kids is not a good thing. It's so hard," said Samara Smith.

For Smith it's been a long road trying to get her and her kids a new place to live. They thought a place on Evesham was going to be it. They paid a cash deposit and even have a receipt to show for it.

But inside the water is still not on and video they took shows an outdated fuse box. Issues they were told would be addressed.

She remembers the text messages between herself and the home owner:

"Is the water on in the house? And did the electricity get fixed? That was December 2nd," said Smith. "On December 3rd I said 'went to the house and the power is still not working and still no water.'"

"Then she said 'I will give you your money back and you can find some other place to move to,'" said Smith.

Smith still doesn't have that money and can't get in touch with the landlord. The I-Team knocked at two homes where that landlord might live Thursday afternoon with no success. That’s the same luck Smith is having.

She knew about many of these issues before paying but went forward with hesitation and good reasons.

"The first conversation I was hesitating because I thought something was wrong but I got so desperate because I have kids. They were staying here and there," said Smith.

This story serves as a reminder to everyone that you need to really inspect a property before you pay anything. Smith knew the issues, she thought they'd be fixed.

If anyone does not let you in and does not let you check it out then you want to get away from that deal right away.

In the meantime, the I-Team will keep following up to see if Smith gets her money back.