College students sleeping in cars to avoid bug-infested apartment; managers of off-campus complex unresponsive
BATON ROUGE - Nadia Andrews and her roommates have been sleeping in their cars for days to avoid their bug-infested apartment.
“School starts next week and I’m sleeping in my car. It's embarrassing! It’s my senior year, this is not how I expected to walk into my senior year at all,” Andrews said.
She lives off-campus in the Alight Apartment Complex on West McKinley Street with her two roommates N’Mari Ward and Kennedy Whitfield. They went home for the holidays and say they came back to a flea infestation, with Southern University starting classes back in only a few days.
“We, quite literally, are scrubbing our walls with bleach, baking soda, powder, the flea powder on carpets. We’re vacuuming every day. We set off over 30 bombs in our apartment. We cut the air off so like it won’t go throughout everything,” Andrews said.
They put on protective gear whenever they go inside the apartment. They’ve been living in their cars for the last five days.
“It’s heartbreaking for real, it's embarrassing, no one wants to tell someone, 'oh we have fleas in our apartment.' We have roaches, I mean we also have mold! We’ve been complaining to these people and they won’t give us answers. And it’s just like, we were peaceful, we were nice. It shouldn't have had to come to this."
Ward says she and her roommates have reached out to management several times but the people in charge haven't been helpful.
“We’ve asked them, what are our options? They said, 'well you guys can switch units for $250.' But that's not defeating the issue, that's actually spreading the issue to more apartments and that's nasty," Ward said.
Whitfield says she just wants to be able to sleep in her bed.
“We spent the whole night throwing away clothes and shoes. We probably threw away like $600 to $700 worth of groceries," Whitfield said.
If you search Alight Apartments online, you'll find multiple reviews of roach infestations and bad management. Some comments date back months.
Now these three students are hurting mentally, emotionally, and financially.
“We’ve come out of our pocket with hundreds of dollars. Hundreds of dollars that we probably won’t even see again. We’re college students, it's not like we can just pull $500 out of the air," Andrews said.
WBRZ reached out to the complex management. They claim they fixed the flea problem in the unit. Management believes the tenants are the reason for the problem because two of them have dogs. The girls say their dogs did not have fleas before winter break and they do not have them now.
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