Tenants wait for landlord to exterminate roaches

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - When roaches invade your home, it's a problem. It's a bigger one when you can't get the landlord to exterminate properly.

Whenever you have a complaint, put it in writing. Include the owner's name and address, your name and address, then date it and keep a copy. You'll have proof of how often you complained and when.

In Crystal Moore's bathroom there is a bug on its back, overcome from her constant spraying. While the dead roach is caught on camera, a live one surveys the camera crew from the ceiling.

Seconds after flushing the one she squished in a tissue, another roach scurries about but Crystal gets that one too.

"It's just humiliating to have to live like this," Crystal said.

A property manager confirmed an adjacent apartment is the source. The tenant was hospitalized and the apartment closed up, then the neighbor returned.

"Roaches were just like coming out the door. They were all across the wall. They were coming inside of here," said Crystal.

Crystal complained many times before the onslaught, she says. But, Parkway Gardens Apartments says she complained only once one week ago, and they responded quickly.

Manager Kyle Stephenson tells me the new owners are committed to turning the distressed property around. The tenant says she was dismissed and given chemicals by the maintenance man.

"He came to my door. He gave me this can, this box of some kind of bombs.  I'm not an exterminator," Crystal said.

After NBC12's calls Friday and Monday, door tags appeared marking Crystal's building for professional bug treatment.

"That's all I ever wanted from the beginning," said Crystal.

Now, tenants once afraid to talk want an exterminator too.

"Oh my gosh. We're called the roach motel by everybody around here. We're known as the roach motel," said a Parkway Gardens tenant.

Residents say they're roaches in all the buildings, but that's just one problem. Here's another. They say the tenants moved out of one building weeks ago, but what they left behind is still here.

NBC12 found one tenant content with the new owners and heard from five who are not.

PARKWAY GARDENS TENANT: "I call them every once in a while and they come and spray them."
DIANE: "So you're satisfied with the kind of response you're getting?"
PARKWAY GARDENS TENANT: "Yea, they helping me.'

"That's nasty," said a dissatisfied tenant.

"You can't acquire a property and expect people to live like this," said another.

Several units were trashed by tenants and haven't been cleaned or repaired. The new owners, "Crown Hill, LLC," took over in April. The new managers say they want the community to thrive, and their goal is to fix the problems.

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