‘It’s starting to mess me up’: Woman says rats, mold have taken over her north Houston apartment and management won’t help

HOUSTON – Residents who live at the Cranbrook Forest Apartments say they are fed up with rats, mold, and faulty appliances.

The complex is located on Ella Boulevard in north Houston. Tenants say they submit work orders to management, but their problems are never resolved.

Ms. Rozell has lived at the complex for a year and says it has been a nightmare. She wants to move, but says the complex failed inspections and because of that, her housing voucher does not cover rent.

She shared a video with KPRC 2 that shows rats sneaking from the bottom of the stove and crawling under the refrigerator. She also shared pictures of the rodents stuck on sticky traps.

“Like, it has really been horrible. It is really horrible,” she said.

Rozell says mice and rats are an everyday problem. She says the rodents have taken over her unit.

“Mentally, it’s starting to mess me up because I’m always looking and jumping when something falls,” Rozell said.

On top of that, she is also dealing with mold on her air vents and inside the bathroom. She said her son got sick and went to the doctor.

“When he woke up, he was wheezing and could barely breathe,” she said.

Rozell has submitted countless work orders and shared the emails with KPRC 2.

“(The) Next day or so, management will come back saying “it’s completed,” and nothing ever happens,” she said.

KPRC2′s Re’Chelle Turner went to the front office, but workers would not answer any questions.

“This is a problem we see a lot,” Jonna Treble said.

Treble is a staff attorney with Lone Star Legal Aid and said landlords do not have to deal with reported problems at all if rent is not current. She added that it is important for tenants to send a notice by certified mail about the issue and give management time to respond.

“After that point in time, there are two ways formed. A tenant can pay to resolve the problem on their own, if they have the means to do that, or have the lease judicially terminated in a small claims court,” Treble said.

Rozell receives help from the Houston Housing Authority and said the agency stopped paying her rent because the complex failed inspections. It left her with a balance and late fees.

“I feel like I shouldn’t have to pay it,” she said.

“I really think that it takes tenants being really proactive and going ahead and getting in a request to the housing authority. Don’t wait around for that property to fail,” Treble said.

Treble said the situation can be tough for tenants.

“The housing authority will not be paying out the rent anymore and the tenant will most certainly lose the apartment without the ability to make that rent,” she said.

Rozell said she has had enough and hopes she can move out soon.

“I moved to Houston thinking I can get myself together, but this has brought me down. I barely can sleep at night because I am watching over my child,” she said.

Lone Star Legal Aid said tenants can call 713-652-0077 and they can provide helpful information.

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