It’s a story 7 Eyewitness News has followed since the beginning.
“Rats everywhere,” Wendy Moore told 7 Eyewitness News. “They are running across the parking lot, under the car ports, under the cars.”
In December, a viewer alerted us to a rat infestation at the Garden Village Apartments in Cheektowaga. The viewer sent us a video showing several rats scurrying behind and in and out of dumpsters. Now neighbors are claiming the rats have made their way into the homes of Garden Village residents.
“The cat was going crazy behind the door. My daughter moves the back of the T.V. panel and the rat comes running out,” Moore said
Moore lives in her apartment with her three daughters and her 4-month-old grandson. She says the rat problem in the complex has only intensified since she moved in four years ago.
“I’ve been told by many people, if there’s one there’s more.”
After spotting a rat in her daughter’s bedroom, Moore set traps to catch the critters. She says since first spotting the rodent two weeks ago it has gnawed on furniture and even chewed through the carpet and a towel she placed under the door to trap it inside the room.
But the last straw – trapping a rat in her daughter’s bedroom.
“It’s gotten out of control,” Moore said.
A neighbor we talked says after living at Garden Village apartments for three years, he has opted to not renew his lease.
“I’m moving out,” Malcolm Walker told 7 Eyewitness News. “Yeah I’ve had enough. I use to sit in my car and I didn’t want to go in my house and I’d see rats walking by.”
Just minutes after our interviews wrapped, rats ran right past the 7 Eyewitness News van.
We placed several calls to Ed, the property manager – who in the past would not give us his last name – he did not return our calls Wednesday evening.
So whose responsibility is it to rectify the rat situation? The landlord of the tenants?
According to Rentprep.com – it depends.
Experts say if the infestation is due to natural circumstances it is the responsibility of the landlord but if it the infestation is linked to tenant actions it’s on the tenant.
According to the Erie County Health Department – taking care of this situation is the responsibility of the landlord. A representative with the agency says Garden Village failed to maintain dumpsters and surrounding areas which is attracting the rats.
The tenants I spoke with say they are still waiting to see something to be done, in the meantime Wendy Moore says she’s stuck.
“I don’t have the money,” Moore said.