Palm Springs apartment 'sorry' about rats

Posted at 11:28 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 04:16:27-05

Wednesday night we told you about tenants terrorized by rats and helped expose an infestation in Palm Springs. Since then more people have stepped forward with concerns they say have been ignored.

Lisa Bianco is one of the tenants from Avesta Coronado Springs apartment complex that filed a complaint with code enforcment after watching the story we aired Wednesday.

"I haven't had heat for weeks the roaches are terrible," Bianco said as she left a message for a code enforcement officer.

Unlike other Avesta tenants we've spoken with, Bianco says she hasn't had an issue with rats but Palm Springs code enforcement says it has received complaints for both and will begin investigating complaints at Avesta apartments first thing Friday morning.

On Wednesday we asked an Avesta property manager about the rodent complaints and he admitted "we're having an issue" and also said "we're taking care of it."

But when we checked back with the tenants at Avesta Thursday they told us they still hadn't been contacted by management about their rodent complaints.

So we decided to force the issue again. We walked into the leasing office with our cameras rolling.

"Can we ask you a few questions about the problems you're having?" asked NewsChannel 5's Jared Werksma. But managers refused.

"Turn off the camera and please leave its private property," a woman said.

"Who is going to answer these questions?" Werksma asked. "Our attorney will," responded another man.

Rachel Ridley, Managing Director of Avesta Communities sent us this statement saying:

"We apologize to our residents that they are having to deal with this issue.  Their health and safety is our primary concern.

We responded to a complaint about this matter a week ago and immediately took action.  We believed we had the problem fixed, but learned in media reports that some issues remained.

As a result, we have now put a full remediation plan in place.  Our pest control company is undertaking a rodent abatement plan, which includes sealing up any openings to keep rodents out.  Also, since rodents can occasionally nest in trees, we are trimming back all the trees from the buildings in the community.

We believe this remediation plan will fix the issues, but we will monitor closely and take additional action if needed to make sure our residents have a safe, clean home."

If and when the pest remediation plan begins at Avesta, we'll follow the process. In the meantime, Palm Springs code enforcement says it will begin investigating complaints of rodents and roaches at Avesta Coronado Springs apartments first thing Friday morning. We'll let you know what they find.