Management of the Summer Breeze apartment community in St. Augustine says it’s aware of a rodent infestation, but tenants say enough hasn’t been done to prevent the rats from spreading throughout the complex.
It’s the second time News4JAX has heard from tenants about a rat problem at the complex. News4JAX first spoke with tenants in 2017 who complained about rodents following Hurricane Matthew.
Inside Building 200 at the age 55 and older apartment community, several tenants say the issue has them fed up.
“We think it started this past April. We had problems in several apartments and then it spread throughout the building and it’s completely rampant now,” said resident Karon Briggs.
Adele Klein says she hears the rats crawling in her third-floor ceiling, behind her walls, and inside her air ducts at night.
“I’m a wreck because I don’t sleep. Every morning I get up and look all around with a flashlight,” said resident Adele Klein.
Resident Adele DelSalvio worries about elderly people living at the complex.
“If someone’s on the edge of having a heart attack, this could push them over the edge,” she said.
Resident Ian McAdams has been helping his neighbors capture and dispose of the rats.
“I’ve got six today,” McAdams said. “These are out of one apartment... One in the bathroom. One in the pantry and one in the A/C unit.”
Management knew tenants who were upset were reaching out to the News4JAX I-TEAM to voice their concerns. The team sent us a written statement that says:
“The management team of the Summer Breeze Apartments has brought several expert contractors to the facility to expedite the removal of pests from the property. We appreciate the concerns of the residents and ask for their cooperation and understanding as we work to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.”
“It always seems like once we get a newspaper or television broadcaster on it, that’s when the action happens,” DelSalvio said.
And now they are hoping this reoccurring problem gets enough attention to bring change.
The tenants say this also upsetting because their monthly rent has gone up, but they don’t feel as though they are getting the services they are paying for.