By Madeleine Wright

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – A collapse of a wall between two apartment buildings in Wilmington, Delaware has led to seven apartment buildings being deemed unfit and unsafe to live in. It happened on North Adams Street on Sunday. A total of 27 apartments have been affected.

Tenants are angry as their lives have been turned upside down now that they suddenly have to find a new place to live. They confronted their landlord demanding their rent checks back.

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“Me and my child will be on the street because of the choices he’s decided to make all these years,” said a tenant. “He’s never put in the effort to repair these places.”

Problems with the building came to the attention of city officials on Sunday when a brick wall in an archway collapsed. The next day, the Department of Licenses and Inspections declared all 27 apartment units unsafe for human habitation.

The building has been cited in the past for non-working smoke detectors and holes in the wall, but the biggest safety issue is the structural integrity of the building is compromised.

“You have your floor, and underneath it joists that support the floor structure itself in order to give it stability. Once that collapsed, it exposed the joists were not connected fully to the walls,” a building inspector said.

Which means the building is at risk of collapsing, according to the building inspector.

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The landlord, A.J. Pokorny, responded by putting a brace up until a permanent fix could be made.

“The next morning, they are going to come out and say ‘yeah you did it right thing, OK.’ Then oh geez there are five L&I cars, like five people died or something,” Pokorny said.

He wrote a check to one tenant who cursed him out, but that helped only one of about 25 displaced families. Some displaced tenants are staying at a hotel or with friends and family. Others are staying at a local shelter. It’s unclear where they will live long term.

“Housing is not easy to find and to move from a home that you have taken care of, an apartment, to a shelter or temporary emergency housing, it’s not OK,” a resident said.

Building inspectors came back to the scene on Tuesday and found even more problems with the building, for example, mold and water heaters being installed in the basement without a permit.

The landlord left the scene before we could ask him about that and the lack of repairs.

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It’s unclear how long the tenants will be displaced.

Madeleine Wright