Topaz Villas resident fears ceiling collapse after recent cave-in hospitalizes two

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A resident at Topaz Villas in Ortega Farms on Jacksonville’s Westside is worried her ceiling will collapse after she claims her concerns have gone ignored for about two months.

Sheila Scruggs moved into the complex six years ago after previously living on the Northside.

”I had more space, I had this beautiful patio door, and the double closet. As a woman, you like that kind of stuff,” she said.

The property was recently sold to Lynd Living, out of Texas. Scruggs said about two months ago she noticed the ceiling began to crack over her bed.

”It’s hurricane season,” she exclaimed. “This roof has been ready to fall on my head. My bed is soaked with water. What am I supposed to do?,” she asked.

Scruggs claimed her maintenance requests have gone unanswered besides a tarp that was placed on the roof two weeks ago. A ceiling collapse at the same complex last Thursday sent two tenants to the hospital.

According to the report, one of the residents was washing dishes and told police he felt something fall and couldn’t remember anything else until he was talking to firefighters with Jacksonville Fire & Rescue.

”I panicked. Because that has been my fear for the last two months,” Scruggs said about her ceiling.

She also complained about mold growing around the vent and leaks in the plumbing in the kitchen and bathroom.

Action News Jax went to the front office to see how long it would take to get a fix. An employee said he would have to speak to management.

Emails to the property manager and corporate office have not yet been returned.

“I want to be able to come home and feel comfortable,” Scruggs said. “I’ve got a list of things in my apartment. I’d like for them to be fixed. I don’t think I’m asking for too much.”

Steve Combs, a Jacksonville attorney, said residents have rights as well.”If you have asked your landlord to fix something and they haven’t fixed it and it’s impacting your ability to live in the unit — then like your landlord can send you a three-day notice, you can send your landlord a seven-day notice,” he explained.

Combs said you have to give your landlord seven days to fix the problem. If they don’t, you have the right to break your lease. Scruggs said she can’t afford to break her lease, which ends in December.