Woman says rats, bugs forced her from Madison apartment complex - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Woman says rats, bugs forced her from Madison apartment complex

A woman says pest control is a problem inside her apartment at Charleston Oaks in Madison. (Source: Loretta Thomas) A woman says pest control is a problem inside her apartment at Charleston Oaks in Madison. (Source: Loretta Thomas)
MADISON, AL (WAFF) -

Rats, roaches and bugs are forcing some people out their Charleston Oaks apartment in Madison.

Loretta Thomas said she told them time and time again she wasn’t comfortable in her home and wanted to leave. She even says she’s woken up to dead bugs on her pillow.

Thomas said her trouble started when she moved in early spring.

“You guys have all these expectations of me before you hand the keys, and I'm expecting a move-in ready apartment,” Thomas said.

Charleston Oaks management told WAFF 48 News that pest control checks units weekly. Thomas said after several visits, pest control crews told her she should do her part and buy household items to fight off the pests herself.

"I've taken pictures. I've taken his advice. I've gotten the pet and kid-friendly bug spray, and nothing works because they keep coming back," she said.

Other people that live in the complex report rats. One tenant said she’s seen droppings in her dining room, pantry and kitchen.

The property manager said they outsource pest control and landscaping crews to maintain the cleanliness of the complex.

When faced with issues in your complex, the Alabama Tenant Handbook is the best source for legal guidance.

Attorney Holly Ray with Legal Services Alabama said the complex has the responsibility to maintain basic upkeep of the property, like meeting sanitation codes. However, there are provisions when issues come up,

"A tenant has the right to break their lease under Alabama law. They have to give a 14-day written notice that says you intend to break your lease, and after 14 days if the landlord hasn't made that repair, you can legally break your lease and vacate," Ray said.

Ray emphasizes the importance of documenting everything. She said to take pictures, save emails, and write down names, numbers and details of those conversations. She said that’s your best evidence in court.

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