JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Harriett Shorter, a wife and pregnant Jacksonville mother of three, tells Action News Jax, despite cleaning and setting traps, her apartment is overrun with mice & roaches.
She invited Action News Jax anchor Dawn Lopez into her home at Cypress Landing off Moncrief Road to see how rodents have invaded her living space.
Rodent droppings were found all over the apartment -- even the kitchen table. Shorter says her children are afraid to live here.
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Lopez paid a visit the complex’s leasing office — the door was slammed in her face.
She also called managers in the office on this visit. They wouldn’t pick up.
While walking back to Shorter’s unit, Shorter pointed out a staffer coming out and jumping into a car.
Lopez tried to get answers from the person in the car, but they continued to drive off.
Shorter said she has been at the complex for seven months and has constantly complained about the mice and other unwanted visitors.
Hours after Lopez’s visit, she spoke with management who said they sent an exterminator and set traps at Shorter’s apartment and around all buildings on the property.
We asked Action News Jax Law and Safety expert Dale Carson what rights you have as a renter.
"You need to be able to show proof that you noticed the landlord or the owners that you were having a problem. They have 7 days in which to cure that problem, or you don't have to live there anymore,” Carson said.
He also said you can break your lease and withhold rent if the landlord doesn't get problems fixed that cause the apartment to be uninhabitable. However, you have to send the complaint by way of a certified letter. If the problem is ignored within seven days or the remedy is unacceptable, send a second certified letter. You must tell them you're leaving and won't pay rent.
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