Pinellas County

Residents at St. Pete apartment complex say they're living with rodents

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) - Residents staying at James Park Apartments are complaining about rats. 

Many believe there is an infestation of them around the complex.

Several have filed complaints with code compliance.

One woman claims they're everywhere.

"They're running around, in holes and cabinets being chewed up," she said.

Breanne Jordan also filed on her cousin's behalf after she said her child was bitten on the face several weeks ago.

"This is what they do. They put all these little traps on the side of the stoves."

Within the last six months, code compliance officials said they've had nine complaints regarding rats, leaks and lack of interior maintenance.

Five of the cases were closed after the management company, United Apartment Group, complied.

Four remain active, according to officials.

"When you have multiple complaints on the same complex, it typically is indicative there is deferred maintenance, so there's probably several units that have these issues," said James Corbett, St. Petersburg Code Compliance Operations Manager. "I would guess, but can't say for all, there probably needs to be an inspection done on the complex as a whole."

News Channel 8 took the resident's concerns to management, but was kicked off the property.

In a statement from United Apartment Group:

"As with any apartment complex, there will be disgruntled residents. Unfortunately, as in the case of James Park Apartments and the recent eviction notices given for non-payment of rent, unauthorized guests, and drug activity, some residents, and even guests of residents, feel the need to contact Code Compliance to make unwarranted complaints. As you are aware, three recent complaints to Code Compliance have been closed, all of which pertained to minor repairs such as running toilet, inoperable light fixture, repair to flooring, and kitchen cabinets.It has recently been brought to our attention by a couple of residents that rodents were spotted in/around their unit. Management immediately called a third party vendor (Terminix) to assess the problem and began all processes to rectify it, no matter the costs. Terminix has treated the buildings in question and have set bait traps all around the entire perimeter of the complex. Additionally, there are numerous traps set around all buildings of the complex by the City of St. Petersburg. The traps set by Terminix are being checked by a Terminix representative every other day. We have also scheduled to have the interior units in all of the remaining building treated, have had all roofs examined for the upcoming repair of any noted holes/damages where rodents may be entering, and will be permanently sealing any/all cracks to the exterior of all buildings.Until yesterday, via a phone call from a Code Compliance representative, Management has never been made aware that a complaint was made to Code Compliance about any findings of rodents. The representative informed Management yesterday that a non-resident made a verbal complaint to them but has now withdrew said complaint. To date, we do not have any documentation from this agency pertaining to rodents.As you can see, we are doing our best to correct this issue, as we pride ourselves in maintaining a decent, safe, and sanitary living condition for all residents. Please note that, according to an employee of the Health Department (next door) and a current resident of the neighboring apartment complex, they, too, are having issues with rodents.In all fairness to the Owners and Management of this complex, we do hope that the public reporting of a rodent issue at James Park Apartments will be one of an impartial nature. We appreciate your time and you giving us an opportunity to provide our side of this delicate situation."

Residents said whatever management is doing is not enough.

"They should have been doing more a long time ago, but it's gotten out hand now."

Code compliance is scheduled to be back on the property next month for re-inspection.

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