Renters Complain About Living Conditions
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Jun. 28, 2013
A couple in Banning says black mold in their rental house is making them sick.
Bonnie French has respiratory problems, and is mostly confined to her bed.
Her husband, Michael French, says it's affecting him too.
And other residents are having problems with bugs.
The complex of houses is at 380 East Nicolet Street in Banning.
One resident says their home is full of mold.
Another resident complains of roaches.
We asked Banning Code Enforcement about these reports.
They said they are working to resolve the situation with the property owner, and can't comment further.
Michael French says his wife continues to grow sicker and sicker.
He says they've lived here about two years.
"Many trips to the hospital, she lost her appetite, she went from 186 pounds down to 101 pounds."
Michael says they discovered black mold in the baseboards of their home
He bought a testing kit.
"The doctor actually wrote an accommodation letter that said that the black mold had to be taken out of this apartment, the carpeting had to be changed," said Michael.
The owner did paint the walls and put in new carpeting earlier this month, but Michael says the mold still remains.
"Just painted the wall and left it at that, I pulled back the baseboard and the mold's still there," said Michael.
Michael says there are other issues as well including, "Started having problems with roach infestation and we called the owner and they said well, you must have brought them with you."
Lupe de Luna has lived at another unit for about a year.
There are dead bugs in cabinets, under the kitchen sink, under the bathroom sink, by the toilet and live ones scurrying on the countertop.
"And I cook and the roaches come out all over the walls, and they smell the food and they're everywhere, and I'm afraid they're going to fall in our food you know, but we still have to eat."
Lupe says the owners did take action.
"They sent an exterminator out three different times, but within that time it still hasn't gotten any better."
Lupe tries to kill them by putting boric acid in the cabinets.
We spoke with the owners on the phone, they told us they're resolving everything code enforcement asked them to, they also said no tenant had contacted them to complain about mold beforehand.
"And there's mold in the bathroom, and I clean it with bleach but it also comes back, so its like I tell them about it though," said Lupe.
Lupe's had enough, she gave her 30 day notice.
"We're not able to live here," said Lupe.
Michael is looking for a new place to live as well.
"I can't keep her here no longer, I just can't, she's getting worse and worse by the day," said Michael.
Earlier this week, the Fair Housing Council confirmed to us they had two cases at those rental units.
They agreed to meet with us, but then canceled saying something came up.
Michael told us they advised him and another man not to speak to the media.