CREATED Sep. 4, 2013
PALM SPRINGS - Joey Calavetta, a tenant at Whispering Palms Apartments on Arenas Road, moved into his apartment three weeks ago and hasn't slept there for the past week. The reason, he says, is mold.
"I was only here two weeks after paying full price to move in and my dog started having a rash, and I started breathing funny and waking up with crust on my eyes," shares Calavetta.
He adds that he discovered mold in his ceiling after maintenance at the complex went to fix a leak after the recent rains.
"When they pulled the piece down that started to fall, it exposed all the installation, and it was black," says Calavetta, "He said this is black mold."
Calavetta thinks there was probably mold already inside his apartment before he even moved in.
"My main concern is that this is not the first time it's been patched up, and she rented it out anyway. It's uninhabitable here," expresses Calavetta.
A few doors down in the same complex, there seems to be a more visible moldy situation. Lynn Scott and her husband are both seniors and are living on low income. For the past five years, they say they've lived with mold in their bathroom, even though Scott claims she cleans it herself every other day.
"I have over 17 complaints. The last two complaints that I gave her, she told us to leave for a week and that when we came back everything was going to be fixed. We came back, nothing was done," says Scott, pointing at her bathroom's tiled floor to what appears to be mold growing from the cracked wall.
These tenants say they're mostly worried about their health, breathing in what could be potentially dangerous wafting through the air.
"I got five inhalers that I've been using with the past year, and I got a paper from my dentist saying that I need to get a mouth biopsy over this mold," explains Scott.
Residents say the apartment manager, Stacey, has promised to fix the situation repeatedly, but so far, they say she's done nothing. She commented on Calavetta's complaint, saying she offered to move him into another apartment last week; however, he insists she never did.
"She put her hand up again and said 'I know, black mold, I know. I'm aware of it.' She said I'm busy and that was it," says Calavetta, adding that Stacey called him Wednesday morning after KMIR6 began investigating.
He refuses to stay at his apartment or a new one in the same complex because of all the "problems" he sees in it.
"This place is uninhabitable, it shouldn't be lived in at all, the whole building. I put a lot of work to move here, everything I had and I have nothing now, so I feel like it's wrong to treat people this way," expresses Calavetta.
A supervisor at Metropolitan Management Company, which manages Whispering Palms Apartments, declined to comment on the residents' complaints.
This complex is listed on apartmentratings.com, in which 7 out of 29 reviews "mold" is mentioned.