Tenants of a Dallas apartment complex say their homes are plagued, daily, by rats that even come out from the ceiling.
Barbara Acosta, who lives at the Villas del Lago Apartments, contacted our sister station Telemundo 39 to report this issue. She stated that the management wasn’t being helpful to find a solution.
Cell phone videos recorded by Acosta showed rats coming out of her bathroom ceiling and even some that were on mousetraps.
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Telemundo 39 visited the property and was able to confirm the presence of these animals in Acosta’s apartment. Neighbors also showed us different videos of rats inside their homes.
“I had to call 911 to see if they could come to get those rats. I actually have to go to the office because you call, but they don’t come out to check”, said Acosta.
Telemundo 39 reached out to the property manager, who initially told us that they are spraying for pests every Thursday. However, it took several days for us to get a response regarding the specific conditions that Acosta was living in. However, she is not the only one experiencing this situation.
“My mom caught a rat, and I have a picture of another one. There are still many more in the house. We can hear them at night by the stove”, said Endy Ramirez, resident of Villas del Lago.
After a few days of visiting the property office to obtain a statement, we met in person with Noel Yi, manager of Overmore LLC, which is company that owns the complex. He stated that on December 2018, they sprayed some of the units that reported the presence of rats. However, two months later, the rats came back to Apartment 303 and from there, they started to see other units become affected.
Yi explained that, just two months ago, they contracted with DFW Home to manage the complex.
Acosta has now been moved to a different unit, while they repair another one, where she can finally live. She also said that she doesn’t move out of the property because she would have to pay a $575 penalty for not complying with her contract.
Our news team also reached out to the City of Dallas for a statement in regards to this case, and we received the following:
"Villas del Lago Apartments remain under the same ownership, Overmore LLC, however the management company has changed. The management company’s name is DFW Home.
At this time, our Community Prosecution Team has notified property ownership and property management of the outstanding health and safety violations. Inspections are conducted by city inspectors on a monthly basis to ensure progress is being made towards compliance with applicable laws. Inspections are also conducted in response to complaints received by the Community Prosecution team. Specifically, two inspections were conducted this week related to the reported infestations. City inspectors observed progress towards remediation of the infestation, as well as property management’s attempts to accommodate the affected tenant.
The Community Prosecution program is comprised of Assistant City Attorneys designated as Community Prosecutors and paired with code officers, fire inspectors, and detectives. The mission of Community Prosecution is to improve public safety and quality of life by deploying city resources to address high-impact properties that contribute significantly to urban blight or crime. Community Prosecution attempts to work collaboratively with property owners to bring their properties into compliance, but where compliance cannot be gained voluntarily, Community Prosecution uses all available legal tools to gain compliance including filing suit under state law, seeking injunctive relief, and seeking civil penalties."