ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - An Aledo woman dealing with a recent tragedy now finds herself in another tough situation.
Aishia McClay's husband died in a car accident the night before Valentine's Day.
She decided to move to the Quad Cities to be closer to family during this difficult time.
"I didn't want them to keep being reminded of coming home from school and not seeing their dad walk in the door," says McClay.
The Aledo mom had to make a quick move for her six kids.
"It was important for me to leave and start all over in a new environment so they can breathe and grieve," she says.
McClay put a deposit down on April 4th for a rental home in Rock Island.
"I kept getting the runaround, week after week, that it was going to be ready. And I kept texting, calling, 'Hey, when is the unit going to be ready?'" says McClay.
Mcclay says she finally got a green light to start moving some items into the home on April 18th but she noticed the unit still needed a lot of work.
"I tried to explain to [the landlord] that hey, you know, my husband just passed away. The unit is not ready, I want to move on. And he just kept saying 'Ma'am, my unit is ready, my unit is ready.'"
Pictures just a few days after that phone call show an uninstalled shower, exposed electrical sockets and power tools still lying around the house.
That's when McClay decided to look for another place to call home.
"'You can get your items out but the landlord is going to take your deposit.' It threw me back like 'Whoa, I never even moved in, I never signed a bonding contract," McClay recounts.
The deposit was $1100.
"I could use that money for camp for my kids," she says.
"I could use it for groceries, to pay down for bills."
McCclay has filed a lawsuit in small claims court.
She says all she wants is a reimbursement for the deposit and the court fee, a total of $1300, so she can move on.
"My husband worked too hard to take care of his family for someone to take advantage of me and my six kids. I'm going to fight til the end and that's how I feel."
The landlord, Fred Woller, refused to go on camera with Local 4 News, but did provide his side of the events.
He says McClay dropped out of the deal the week he said she could pick up her keys.
Woller says he had to reject other potential renters to keep the house available for McClay and says she should now be held accountable.
Woller says the deposit is rightfully his.
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